Reading and Phonological Awareness in Children With Down Syndrome: A Longitudinal Study Many children with Down syndrome (DS) are capable of developing some reading and writing abilities. The purpose of this study was to further the knowledge of literacy learning and factors that influence that learning in children with DS. Twelve elementary school children with DS were followed over a 4.5-year period. ... Research Article
Research Article  |   November 01, 2000
Reading and Phonological Awareness in Children With Down Syndrome: A Longitudinal Study
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Elizabeth Kay-Raining Bird
    Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • Patricia L. Cleave
    Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • Lyndsey McConnell
    Prince Philip Hospital, Llanelli, U.K.
  • Contact author: Elizabeth Kay-Raining Bird, School of Human Communication Disorders, Dalhousie University, 5599 Fenwick Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 1R2. E-mail: RAINBIRD@IS.DAL.CA
Article Information
Development / Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Research Articles
Research Article   |   November 01, 2000
Reading and Phonological Awareness in Children With Down Syndrome: A Longitudinal Study
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2000, Vol. 9, 319-330. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0904.319
History: Received February 10, 2000 , Accepted August 17, 2000
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2000, Vol. 9, 319-330. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0904.319
History: Received February 10, 2000; Accepted August 17, 2000

Many children with Down syndrome (DS) are capable of developing some reading and writing abilities. The purpose of this study was to further the knowledge of literacy learning and factors that influence that learning in children with DS. Twelve elementary school children with DS were followed over a 4.5-year period. All the children attended regular education classrooms with personal aides and resource rooms as support. Measures of the children’s reading, language, cognitive, and phonological awareness abilities were collected three times. Analyses demonstrated that some reading ability was present in all but one of the children by the end of the study. Phonological awareness and word attack skills did not keep pace with word recognition abilities in these children. When age and mental age (i.e., the mean of the age-equivalent scores from the Pattern Analysis and Bead Memory subtests of the Stanford Binet Intelligence Scale, 4th edition) were partialled out, word attack skill was uniquely predicted by measures of phoneme segmentation and auditory memory as well. Clinical implications of the findings are discussed.

Author Note
This research was funded by the Scottish Rite Charitable Foundation of Canada in a major research grant to Elizabeth Kay-Raining Bird. Portions of these data were presented in poster form at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Albuquerque, New Mexico, April 1999. We would like to thank April Helmkay, Heather McFarlane, and Bronwen Jones for their help with this research and Wade Blanchard for statistical consultation. Special thanks are extended to the children who participated and their families.
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