The reading difficulties of children with (even mild) language impairments


We most commonly think of reading disorders as difficulties with decoding written letters into words, as in dyslexia. Yet the ultimate goal of reading is to comprehend, and difficulties with text understanding often go unnoticed. In this talk, I will present our recent project that investigated why some children find reading comprehension difficult. We found that—beyond problems with decoding—reading comprehension weaknesses were related to poor language and nonverbal IQ. These findings emphasise the importance of language for reading outcomes, and we will discuss similarities to the literacy profiles of children with developmental language disorder. We also found that children with more severe reading difficulties had co-occurring weaknesses spanning memory and attention. Together, these results suggest we should consider broad range of strengths and weaknesses when supporting children with reading and language difficulties. I will end with an overview of some of the open questions and ongoing research in this area.

16 Nov, 2022 1:15 PM — 17 Nov, 2022 5:00 PM
Emma James
Emma James
Developmental Psychologist