RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Text comprehension in Down syndrome: the role of lower and higher level abilities.

The contribution of lower level linguistic abilities (study 1) and a higher level capacity, namely the use of context, (study 2), on text comprehension was studied. Participants were 16 individuals with Down syndrome aged between aged between 8 years 11 months and 16 years 10 months, and 16 children with typical development, aged between 5 years 11 months and 7 years 3 months, matched for the level of text comprehension. In study 1 the two groups were compared for receptive vocabulary and sentence comprehension: both of them were shown to play a role in text comprehension in Down syndrome. Since participants with Down syndrome had very low scores in sentence comprehension, study 2 tested the hypothesis that when sentences were presented within a brief context, individuals with Down syndrome would perform better. This hypothesis was confirmed and it was shown that contextual facilitation was closely related to text comprehension skills.

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