Resultaten i Jakob Åsbergs avhandling Literacy and comprehension in school-aged children: Studies on autism and other developmental disabilities, tyder på att svårigheter i läsförståelse och, eller hörförståelse av sammanhängande diskurs är vanliga hos barn med ASD och barn med ADHD på gruppnivå.
The present thesis consists of five studies and addresses literacy and comprehension skills in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD, including Asperger's disorder) and, to a lesser extent, attention disorders (eg. Attention Deficits Hyperactivity Disorder; ADHD). Although a completely clean and coherent picture of the abilities of these groups was not attained in the studies, the findings indicate that difficulties in reading comprehension and, or listening comprehension of connected discourse are common in children with ASD and children with ADHD at the group level (Study 1, 2 and,or 3). For children with ADHD, such difficulties often co-occurred with word decoding and spelling difficulties (Study 2). Word decoding skills were more variable for students with ASD, yet typically unimpaired. These findings are broadly consistent with previous research. When difficulties in word decoding were observed in children with ASD, such difficulties appeared to conform to a 'normal pattern' in terms of underlying cognitive and psycholinguistic abilities (e.g. poor phonological awareness and rapid naming) (Study 4). Finally, for children with ASD, discourse-level comprehension appeared to be more difficult than what one would expect from non-verbal cognitive level and basic language comprehension skills (study 3). However, there were also initial indications that the discourse comprehension skills in ASD were amenable of positive change through educational intervention in collaboration with school staff (Study 5). The results presented in the thesis are of importance for professionals who are concerned with understanding and supporting literacy and comprehension development in all children.