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Some children learn to read accurately despite language impairments (LI). Nine- to 10-year-olds were categorized as having LI only (n = 35), dyslexia (DX) only (n = 73), LI + DX (n = 54), or as typically developing (TD; n = 176). The LI-only group had mild to moderate deficits in reading comprehension. They were similar to the LI + DX group on most language measures, but rapid serial naming was superior to the LI + DX group and comparable to the TD. For a subset of children seen at 4 and 6 years, early phonological skills were equally poor in those later classified as LI or LI + DX. Poor language need not hinder acquisition of decoding, so long as rapid serial naming is intact; reading comprehension, however, is constrained by LI.

Original publication




Journal article


Child Dev

Publication Date





593 - 605


Age Factors, Child, Child, Preschool, Comorbidity, Comprehension, Dyslexia, Female, Humans, Language Development Disorders, Language Tests, Male, Psycholinguistics, Reading, Serial Learning, Speech, Terminology as Topic