Adolescents with ID have very poor reading abilities. This limits learning and life opportunities in the digital age where reading is vital for social activities and employment. The sparse existing research on this group suggests that reading impairment is caused by cognitive and language factors beyond IQ, as well as school and home environment factors. Our project on reading in adolescents with ID involves the broadest range of potential predictors to date, with one of the largest samples: 150 adolescents. The aim is to investigate which, and to what extent, a comprehensive range of individual abilities which have been found to be predictors of reading in other groups (i.e. cognition and language) and key environmental factors (school and socioeconomic status) influence reading abilities (decoding and reading comprehension). Knowledge of these relationships can guide teaching methods to support students with ID and the research team are in a good position to make such recommendations. Extending research about reading processes to those with ID can also provide new data relevant to general theories about the reading process, particularly ‘the simple view of reading’ and provide important data about reading processes in languages like Swedish with a transparent orthography.
This project is funded by the Swedish Research Agency (Vetenskapsrådet).