In order to examine whether any observed relationship between phonological awareness and reading ability in Down syndrome reflects the typical use of a phonologically based approach to reading, 12 children and young adults with Down syndrome were assessed for reading and phonological awareness skills. They were compared to a control group of 14 typically developing 6- and 7-year-olds of comparable word reading abilities. Results showed that, although individuals with Down syndrome had impaired nonword reading and phonological awareness skills, the same relationship held between these two abilities as was observed in the group of typically developing children. Moreover, individuals with Down syndrome read at least as well as the typically developing children when the task required a visual reading strategy (reading irregular words).
(a) understanding of the main issues related to the development of reading skills in Down syndrome; (b) understanding of the role played by phonological awareness in learning to read; (c) understanding of the importance for education of the strong relationship between phonological awareness and reading skills in Down syndrome.
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