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Appl Neuropsychol Child. 2018 Jul-Sep;7(3):245-256. doi: 10.1080/21622965.2017.1297946. Epub 2017 Mar 15.

Pragmatics of language and theory of mind in children with dyslexia with associated language difficulties or nonverbal learning disabilities.

Author information

1
a Department of Developmental and Social Psychology , University of Padua , Padua , Italy.
2
b CAPES Foundation , Ministry of Education of Brazil , Brasília , Brazil.
3
c Department of Psychology, Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto , University of São Paulo , Ribeirão Preto , Brazil.
4
d Department of General Psychology , University of Padua , Padua , Italy.

Abstract

The present study aims to find empirical evidence of deficits in linguistic pragmatic skills and theory of mind (ToM) in children with dyslexia with associated language difficulties or nonverbal learning disabilities (NLD), when compared with a group of typically developing (TD) children matched for age and gender. Our results indicate that children with dyslexia perform less well than TD children in most of the tasks measuring pragmatics of language, and in one of the tasks measuring ToM. In contrast, children with NLD generally performed better than the dyslexia group, and performed significantly worse than the TD children only in a metaphors task based on visual stimuli. A discriminant function analysis confirmed the crucial role of the metaphors subtest and the verbal ToM task in distinguishing between the groups. We concluded that, contrary to a generally-held assumption, children with dyslexia and associated language difficulties may be weaker than children with NLD in linguistic pragmatics and ToM, especially when language is crucially involved. The educational and clinical implications of these findings are discussed.

KEYWORDS:

Dyslexia; language difficulties; nonverbal learning disabilities; pragmatics of language; social perception; theory of mind

PMID:
28296527
DOI:
10.1080/21622965.2017.1297946
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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