Reading ability in adolescents with mild intellectual disability

Earlier research has shown that adolescents with intellectual disability are poor readers, but our knowledge about why is very sparse. Being a fluent reader is essential for an active participation in society. 

Therefore, it is crucial to increase our knowledge about the underlying factors that explain reading ability in adolescents with intellectual disability. This knowledge will be helpful when creating appropriate reading support to increase participation in society.

Investigate factors

The aim of my research is to investigate which linguistic, cognitive, and environmental factors that affects and predicts reading ability in adolescents with mild intellectual disability. 

In order to accomplish this, a number of variables related to reading, language, cognition, and home environment will be tested in a large sample.

Further, I will investigate whether the theories of reading ability that dominates research on typically developing individuals are applicable for adolescents with intellectual disability.

Reading ability in mild intellectual disability

As of today, we know that many adolescents with mild intellectual disability exhibits low levels of reading, regarding both decoding (the technical aspect of reading) and reading comprehension.

The next step is to try to understand why this is. During the last decades, research on reading abilities have identified a number of underlying abilities that affects reading ability more or less extensively. However, the focus of this research is mainly children and adolescents with typical development.

More knowledge is needed regarding the underlying factors that affects reading ability in adolescents with intellectual disability, to be able to optimize the acquisition of reading in this group.





Mary Rudner, Karin Nilsson, Josefine Andin, Krister Schönström, Emil Holmer (2021) Teckenspråk och kognition Leva som andra: Ett biopsykosocialt perspektiv på funktionsnedsättning och funktionshinder, p. 289-308


Research environments