The role of vocabulary, working memory and inference making ability in reading comprehension in Down syndrome
Thirteen children and young adults with Down syndrome (DS) completed tests of language and reading and their performance was compared to that of three control groups. Reading comprehension was confirmed to be a specific deficit in DS and found to be strongly correlated with underlying language skills. Although reading comprehension was more strongly related to language ability in the DS group, this was shown to be a function of more advanced word recognition rather than a characteristic of DS per se. Individuals with DS were found to have greater difficulty with inferential comprehension questions than expected given their overall comprehension ability and the reading profile associated with DS was found to be similar to that of children known as poor comprehenders. It is recommended that oral language training programs, similar to those that have been shown to improve reading comprehension in poor comprehenders, be trialed with children who have DS.