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The relation between text reading fluency and reading comprehension for students with autism spectrum disorders


Deficits in reading comprehension have been well documented in individuals with autism. Researchers have begun to identify predictors of reading comprehension; we sought to add to this knowledge base by investigating the role of text reading fluency in the prediction of reading comprehension in a sample of individuals with higher functioning autism (HFASD). A comprehensive reading battery was administered to students with HFASD (N = 68) and age- matched typically developing (TD) students (N = 38). Significant differences were detected between the HFASD and TD samples on every reading measure, favoring the TD sample. Structural Equation Models with the HFASD indicates that text reading fluency significantly predicts reading comprehension above and beyond the contribution of other reading variables which have been shown to be significant predictors in previous studies. This finding has important implications for the treatment of reading deficits in individuals with HFASD.

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