Phonological awareness in children with Down syndrome

Downs Syndr Res Pract. 2002 Mar;8(1):11-8. doi: 10.3104/reports.123.


Research in the area of phonological awareness has mainly focused on the nature of the relationship between reading ability and awareness of phonemes. However, a recent study of phonological awareness in children with Down syndrome questioned the existence of any necessary relationship (Cossu, Rossini & Marshall, 1993). This paper describes a study of phonological awareness in children with Down syndrome with varying levels of reading ability. The sample consisted of 10 male and 7 female children with Down syndrome (aged 9 years 2 months to 14 years 5 months). All children received a battery of tests which consisted of assessments of: 1) phonological awareness, 2) reading and spelling competence, 3) non-word reading and spelling ability, and 4) non-verbal measures. Children with Down syndrome demonstrated measurable levels of phonological awareness. Significant positive correlations were found between phonological awareness and: reading and spelling competence, ability to spell non-words and non-verbal measures.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Aptitude
  • Awareness*
  • Child
  • Down Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Down Syndrome / psychology
  • Education of Intellectually Disabled
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phonetics*
  • Reading*
  • Verbal Learning*