Current profiles and early predictors of reading skills in school-age children with autism spectrum disorders: A longitudinal, retrospective population study

Åsberg Johnels, J., Carlsson, E., Norbury, C., Gillberg, C. and Miniscalco, C. (2019) Current profiles and early predictors of reading skills in school-age children with autism spectrum disorders: A longitudinal, retrospective population study. Autism, 23(6), pp. 1449-1459. (doi: 10.1177/1362361318811153) (PMID:30523706)

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Abstract

This study explores current reading profiles and concurrent and early predictors of reading in children with autism spectrum disorder. Before the age of 3 years, the study cohort underwent a neurodevelopmental assessment following identification in a population-based autism screening. At age 8 years, reading, language and cognition were assessed. Approximately half of the sample (n = 25) were ‘poor readers’ at age 8 years, meaning that they scored below the normal range on tests of single word reading and reading comprehension. And 18 were ‘skilled readers’ performing above cut-offs. The final subgroup (n = 10) presented with a ‘hyperlexic/poor comprehenders’ profile of normal word reading, but poor reading comprehension. The ‘poor readers’ scored low on all assessments, as well as showing more severe autistic behaviours than ‘skilled readers’. Group differences between ‘skilled readers’ and ‘hyperlexics/poor comprehenders’ were more subtle: these subgroups did not differ on autistic severity, phonological processing or non-verbal intelligence quotient, but the ‘hyperlexics/poor comprehenders’ scored significantly lower on tests of oral language. When data from age 3 were considered, no differences were seen between the subgroups in social skills, autistic severity or intelligence quotient. Importantly, however, it was possible to identify oral language weaknesses in those that 5 years later presented as ‘poor readers’ or ‘hyperlexics’.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This study was performed with support from the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (project no. 2013-00092) and Queen Silvia Jubilee Foundation.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gillberg, Professor Christopher
Authors: Åsberg Johnels, J., Carlsson, E., Norbury, C., Gillberg, C., and Miniscalco, C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:Autism
Publisher:SAGE
ISSN:1362-3613
ISSN (Online):1461-7005
Published Online:07 December 2018

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