Reading and dyslexia in deaf children

We have conducted two studies funded by the Nuffield Foundation looking at reading and dyslexia in deaf children at the end of primary school.

Many deaf children have reading difficulties, but there are no tests designed especially for deaf children that can be used by teachers to measure deaf children’s reading levels. Given the genetic basis of dyslexia among hearing children, it is likely that a proportion of deaf children will also be dyslexic. However, dyslexia among deaf children is under-researched and poorly understood, consequently a diagnosis of dyslexia in a deaf child is rare. This has implications for the support that deaf children receive, in comparison to the support provided for hearing children with dyslexia.

Our research has collected normative data on selected tests of reading and reading-related skills from a representative sample of deaf children with different communication preferences, spoken or sign language. These data will be of use to teaching staff in schools who wish to assess deaf children’s reading abilities. We have been able to identify a dyslexic profile amongst some poor deaf readers. We have also identified strategies that may help deaf children learn to read.

Please click here for the Nuffield briefing paper on these two studies.

These two studies were funded by two Nuffield Foundation grants awarded to Ros Herman, Penny Roy and Fiona Kyle.