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  • Hannah Krimm

Summary of Werfel & Krimm (2017)

Updated: May 30, 2019

Take home messages:

  1. It’s important to assess decoding, reading comprehension, and language abilities in children with suspected reading and/or language disabilities. Children with each of the reading impairment subtypes may require different intervention approaches.

  2. When a child has accurate and fluent decoding skills but still seems to have trouble understanding what they read, it is likely that he or she has language impairment. The majority of children with language impairment are unidentified (Tomblin et al., 1997)

Read full article in JSLHR Skilled reading requires (1) decoding and (2) reading comprehension. Based on these two factors, reading disabilities can be classified according to three subtypes: dyslexia, specific reading comprehension impairment, and dyslexia + reading comprehension impairment. We examined the likelihood of each subtype among 39 children with typical language development and 32 children with specific language impairment (SLI; difficulty with language despite otherwise typical development).

The majority of children with SLI had reading disability. Their reading disabilities overwhelmingly included reading comprehension deficits, with or without decoding deficits. A third of the children with typical language had reading disability, but their reading disabilities were overwhelmingly characterized as dyslexia.

Consistent with previous research, the children with dyslexia in our sample tended to have phonological language deficits, whereas children with reading comprehension impairment tended to have nonphonological language difficulty.


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