A Comparison of Deaf and Hearing Children's Reading Comprehension Profiles : Topics in Language Disorders

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A Comparison of Deaf and Hearing Children's Reading Comprehension Profiles

Kyle, Fiona E.; Cain, Kate

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Topics in Language Disorders 35(2):p 144-156, April/June 2015. | DOI: 10.1097/TLD.0000000000000053



Although deaf children typically exhibit severe delays in reading achievement, there is a paucity of research looking at their text-level comprehension skills. We present a comparison of deaf and normally hearing readers' profiles on a commonly used reading comprehension assessment: the Neale Analysis of Reading Ability II.


Comprehension questions were coded into 3 types: literal questions; local cohesion questions; and global coherence questions. Deaf children were matched to 3 groups of hearing children: chronological age-matched controls; reading-age-matched controls; and a group of poor comprehenders.


Deaf children had significantly weaker reading comprehension skills than both chronological age- and reading-age-matched controls, but their skills were commensurate with poor comprehenders. All groups found it easier to make inferences to establish local cohesion than those required to establish global coherence.


These results suggest that deaf children's reading comprehension profiles are remarkably similar to those of poor comprehenders. These findings are discussed in light of the potential differences in underlying causes of reading difficulties in these 2 groups.

Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

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