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Little is known about the relationships between phonological processing, language, and reading in children with intellectual disability (ID). We examined the structure of phonological processing in 294 school-age children with mild ID and the relationships between its components and expressive and receptive language and reading skills using structural equation modeling. Phonological processing consisted of two distinct but correlated latent abilities: phonological awareness and naming speed. Phonological awareness had strong relationships with expressive and receptive language and reading skills. Naming speed had moderate relationships with these variables. Results suggest that children with ID bring the same skills to the task of learning to read as children with typical development, highlighting the fact that phonologically based reading instruction should be considered a viable approach.


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Barker, R, Michael, Sevcik, R.A., Morris, R.D., & Romski, M. (2013). A model of phonological processing, language, and reading for students with mild intellectual disability. Am. J on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 118(5),365-380. doi: 10.1352/1944-7558-118.5.365

Posted with the permission of the publisher, the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. (c) AAIDD.

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