Nonword reading as an indicator of orthographic learning in the ID population

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University of Alabama Libraries

Previous research has suggested that individuals with intellectual disability (ID) perform worse in several areas of reading compared to mental age matched peers (see Conners, 2003 for a review of the literature). However, it is unclear how they compare on measures of orthographic processing, the visual aspect of reading. The leading approach to understanding orthographic processing in word identification for typically developing (TD) children is the self-teaching hypothesis (Jorm & Share, 1983; Share, 1995; 1999). The self-teaching hypothesis suggests that word-specific orthographic representations are acquired as a result of phonological recoding. By sounding out words, individuals incidentally pick up on the orthographic layout of those words, achieving orthographic learning. The present study is a first test of the self-teaching hypothesis for children with ID. The results indicate that both groups were able to self-teach. This study has important implications for reading instruction. Specifically, instruction in phonological recoding may have a double benefit for individuals with intellectual disabilities. With more phonological recoding instruction they may be better at recoding and also gain orthographic knowledge in the process.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Developmental psychology, Cognitive psychology, Reading instruction