Information processing and reading competencies in hydrocephalic children

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Cross-sectional studies of heterogeneous groups of hydrocephalic children report reading lags of 18 months compared to controls matched for physical disability. This longitudinal study investigated the relationship between the global skill of reading and basic sensory information processing capacities in three homogeneous groups of children: 21 children with uncomplicated hydrocephalus; 24 children who made excessive letter reversals (LR), and 30 normal school children. All children had normal range IQ, and were 4-10 years of age. Three information processing tasks were administered once per year for two years: a tactile matching-to-sample, a visual tachistoscopic matching-to-sample task and an auditory dichotic listening task. Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests were given to measure reading proficiency. Hydrocephalics demonstrated a number of consistent information processing deficits when compared to letter reversal and normal school children. Hydrocephalics showed tactile information processing deficits, quantitatively and qualitatively, both years. Hydrocephalic children showed consistent qualitative differences in visual information processing both years. Hydrocephalics did now show consistent differences (i.e., both years) in auditory information processing. Global reading proficiency appeared to be normal both in children with uncomplicated hydrocephalus and letter reversal children with normal range IQ. Some subcomponent reading skills were impaired in hydrocephalics. Several significant correlations were found between information processing errors and reading scores in both hydrocephalics and letter reversal children. However, these correlations were considered unreliable due to either (1) a failure to reach significance the second year or (2) a sign change from positive to negative by the second year of testing. The conclusion was drawn that there were no consistent associations between specific tactile, visual and auditory information processing deficits and reading proficiency in any of the three groups tested. These results are discussed in light of the importance of longitudinal research with homogenous groups as opposed to cross-sectional sampling in children with proficiency skill problems. © 1985 The International Christian University Language Sciences Summer Institute.

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Language Sciences







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