Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Education

Story Building: Home Based Reading Comprehension Intervention for Children with Down syndrome

30 January 2012 - 30 January 2012
Hilary Place G.18

Dr. Paula Clarke (University of Leeds)


To successfully read is to read with meaning and to do this word reading and language comprehension skills are necessary (Gough & Tunmer, 1986). Although language difficulties are a characteristic of Down syndrome (DS) (Chapman, 1995) many individuals with DS learn to read (Byrne et al., 2002). However, evidence suggests that reading comprehension ability typically lags behind word reading ability by approximately 12- 18 months (e.g. Buckley et al., 1996).

This presentation introduces a new pilot project which aims to develop and trial an intervention (comprising manual, teaching materials and training sessions for parents) to support the reading comprehension skills of children with DS. Using a case series design, participants’ progress will be measured over six week control and intervention periods. 6-8 participants will be selected to have age appropriate word reading skills that are in advance of their comprehension skills.

The intervention will target four components that are key to reading comprehension success; Vocabulary, Narrative, Inferencing and Strategy Use. Each component will be taught in each session and there will be 30 x 30 minute sessions in total. Activities will be based around segmented paragraphs from familiar books and will use lots of visual support including word webs, photographs and illustrations. Progress will be assessed using a range of bespoke and standardised measures, and the feasibility of running a larger trial will be examined.

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