Phonological Awareness Skills in Young Boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
Substantial research has detailed the reading deficits experienced by children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Although phonological awareness (PA) is vital in reading development, little is known about PA in the DMD population. This pilot study describes the PA abilities of a group of five young children with DMD, comparing the results with those of a group of children with spinal muscular atrophy and with those of a group of typically developing children. The Preschool and Primary Inventory of Phonological Awareness was used to assess the PA skills of the participants. Results indicated that the children with DMD performed significantly poorer than the typically developing group on tests of Syllable Segmentation, Rhyme Awareness, Alliteration Awareness and Phoneme Isolation and significantly poorer than the spinal muscular atrophy group on Rhyme Awareness. The findings of this pilot study indicate that children with DMD may have an increased risk of having PA difficulties, thus requiring early PA training.