Reading errors made by children with low vision
Previous research has shown that, on average, children with low vision lag their sighted peers in general reading development (in terms of speed, accuracy and comprehension). This study sought to examine this apparent lag by comparing the reading profiles of 25 normally sighted readers (mean age 8 years 8 months) with 25 low vision readers. The children were tested using a reading test (the Neale Analysis of Reading Ability, NARA) and were matched on the reading accuracy score produced by the test. Therefore in terms of the reading accuracy scores (and reading ages) derived from the NARA both groups were the same. The low vision readers were on average older than the normally sighted children (mean = 10 years, 5 months). When the reading profile (i.e. accuracy, comprehension and speed) was examined in the same analysis no significant effect was revealed [d.f. = 1, 48; F = 0.05; p > 0.1], but a general lag for these children is suggested (in keeping with previous research). However, a closer analysis of the reading error profile revealed the most common reading errors made by all readers in the analysis were either mispronunciations or substitutions. The low vision readers were more prone to making substitution errors than mispronunciations and the reverse was true for normally sighted readers [d.f. = 1, 48; F = 7.1; p < 0.05]. This indicates that the reading strategies adopted by low vision readers may differ from those of normally sighted readers of the same apparent reading ability.