Reading skills in children with mild to borderline intellectual disability

a cross-sectional study on second to eighth graders

F. D. Di Blasi, S. Buono, C. Cantagallo, G. Di Filippo, P. Zoccolotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Students with intellectual disabilities (IDs) have various learning difficulties and are at risk for school failure. Large inter-individual differences are described for reading, but it is unclear how these vary as a function of grade. The aim of this study was to examine various reading fluency, accuracy and comprehension parameters in second-to-eighth-grade Italian children with either borderline intellectual functioning (BIF) or mild ID (MID). Methods: We examined 106 children with BIF (67 M and 39 F) and 168 children with MID (107 M and 61 F). The children were in the second to eighth grade and were comparable for chronological age (7 to 14 years). They were administered a battery of tests that assessed fluency and accuracy of word, pseudo-word and text reading, as well as text comprehension. Standardised scores allowed us to compare the performance of the two groups with normative values. Results: Children with ID obtained generally low scores compared with normative values. Those with MID had greater difficulty than those with BIF. Furthermore, difficulty was greater for speed than for accuracy measures and for words than for pseudo-words. Difficulty (particularly in the case of reading speed) tended to be pronounced at later grades. Marked individual differences were present independently of MID–BIF subgrouping, as well as stimulus category and reading parameter. Conclusions: As a group, children with ID showed difficulty in reading acquisition; the effect was greater for children with more severe ID, but large individual differences were observed in children with both BIF and MID. Relatively spared pseudo-word reading skills indicate efficient use of the grapheme-to-phoneme conversion routine. This processing mode may prove more ineffective at higher levels of schooling when even in regular orthographies such as Italian typically developing children rely on lexical activation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Intellectual Disability Research
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

Intellectual Disability
Reading
Cross-Sectional Studies
Individuality
Disabled Children
Reading Skills
Learning
Students
Pseudowords
Individual Differences

Keywords

  • borderline intellectual functioning
  • intellectual disability
  • mild intellectual disability
  • reading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

@article{4fa3b89b4f5f4964b47fe0d6bda515b3,
title = "Reading skills in children with mild to borderline intellectual disability: a cross-sectional study on second to eighth graders",
abstract = "Background: Students with intellectual disabilities (IDs) have various learning difficulties and are at risk for school failure. Large inter-individual differences are described for reading, but it is unclear how these vary as a function of grade. The aim of this study was to examine various reading fluency, accuracy and comprehension parameters in second-to-eighth-grade Italian children with either borderline intellectual functioning (BIF) or mild ID (MID). Methods: We examined 106 children with BIF (67 M and 39 F) and 168 children with MID (107 M and 61 F). The children were in the second to eighth grade and were comparable for chronological age (7 to 14 years). They were administered a battery of tests that assessed fluency and accuracy of word, pseudo-word and text reading, as well as text comprehension. Standardised scores allowed us to compare the performance of the two groups with normative values. Results: Children with ID obtained generally low scores compared with normative values. Those with MID had greater difficulty than those with BIF. Furthermore, difficulty was greater for speed than for accuracy measures and for words than for pseudo-words. Difficulty (particularly in the case of reading speed) tended to be pronounced at later grades. Marked individual differences were present independently of MID–BIF subgrouping, as well as stimulus category and reading parameter. Conclusions: As a group, children with ID showed difficulty in reading acquisition; the effect was greater for children with more severe ID, but large individual differences were observed in children with both BIF and MID. Relatively spared pseudo-word reading skills indicate efficient use of the grapheme-to-phoneme conversion routine. This processing mode may prove more ineffective at higher levels of schooling when even in regular orthographies such as Italian typically developing children rely on lexical activation.",
keywords = "borderline intellectual functioning, intellectual disability, mild intellectual disability, reading",
author = "{Di Blasi}, {F. D.} and S. Buono and C. Cantagallo and {Di Filippo}, G. and P. Zoccolotti",
year = "2019",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/jir.12620",
language = "English",
journal = "Journal of Intellectual Disability Research",
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TY - JOUR

T1 - Reading skills in children with mild to borderline intellectual disability

T2 - a cross-sectional study on second to eighth graders

AU - Di Blasi, F. D.

AU - Buono, S.

AU - Cantagallo, C.

AU - Di Filippo, G.

AU - Zoccolotti, P.

PY - 2019/1/1

Y1 - 2019/1/1

N2 - Background: Students with intellectual disabilities (IDs) have various learning difficulties and are at risk for school failure. Large inter-individual differences are described for reading, but it is unclear how these vary as a function of grade. The aim of this study was to examine various reading fluency, accuracy and comprehension parameters in second-to-eighth-grade Italian children with either borderline intellectual functioning (BIF) or mild ID (MID). Methods: We examined 106 children with BIF (67 M and 39 F) and 168 children with MID (107 M and 61 F). The children were in the second to eighth grade and were comparable for chronological age (7 to 14 years). They were administered a battery of tests that assessed fluency and accuracy of word, pseudo-word and text reading, as well as text comprehension. Standardised scores allowed us to compare the performance of the two groups with normative values. Results: Children with ID obtained generally low scores compared with normative values. Those with MID had greater difficulty than those with BIF. Furthermore, difficulty was greater for speed than for accuracy measures and for words than for pseudo-words. Difficulty (particularly in the case of reading speed) tended to be pronounced at later grades. Marked individual differences were present independently of MID–BIF subgrouping, as well as stimulus category and reading parameter. Conclusions: As a group, children with ID showed difficulty in reading acquisition; the effect was greater for children with more severe ID, but large individual differences were observed in children with both BIF and MID. Relatively spared pseudo-word reading skills indicate efficient use of the grapheme-to-phoneme conversion routine. This processing mode may prove more ineffective at higher levels of schooling when even in regular orthographies such as Italian typically developing children rely on lexical activation.

AB - Background: Students with intellectual disabilities (IDs) have various learning difficulties and are at risk for school failure. Large inter-individual differences are described for reading, but it is unclear how these vary as a function of grade. The aim of this study was to examine various reading fluency, accuracy and comprehension parameters in second-to-eighth-grade Italian children with either borderline intellectual functioning (BIF) or mild ID (MID). Methods: We examined 106 children with BIF (67 M and 39 F) and 168 children with MID (107 M and 61 F). The children were in the second to eighth grade and were comparable for chronological age (7 to 14 years). They were administered a battery of tests that assessed fluency and accuracy of word, pseudo-word and text reading, as well as text comprehension. Standardised scores allowed us to compare the performance of the two groups with normative values. Results: Children with ID obtained generally low scores compared with normative values. Those with MID had greater difficulty than those with BIF. Furthermore, difficulty was greater for speed than for accuracy measures and for words than for pseudo-words. Difficulty (particularly in the case of reading speed) tended to be pronounced at later grades. Marked individual differences were present independently of MID–BIF subgrouping, as well as stimulus category and reading parameter. Conclusions: As a group, children with ID showed difficulty in reading acquisition; the effect was greater for children with more severe ID, but large individual differences were observed in children with both BIF and MID. Relatively spared pseudo-word reading skills indicate efficient use of the grapheme-to-phoneme conversion routine. This processing mode may prove more ineffective at higher levels of schooling when even in regular orthographies such as Italian typically developing children rely on lexical activation.

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DO - 10.1111/jir.12620

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