Document Type: Original Articles
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Background: Reading is known as one of the most important learning tools. Research results consistently have shown that even a mild hearing impairment could affect the reading skills. Due to the reported differences in reading comprehension skills between hearing impaired students and their normal hearing peers, this research was conducted to compare the differences between the two groups. The other aim was to find any changes in the reading ability of hearing impaired group during elementary school. Methods: This study is a cross-sectional (descriptive–analytic) one in which reading comprehension ability of 91 students with severe and profound hearing impairment ( 33 girls and 58 boys ) from 2nd up to 5th grade of exceptional schools were compared with 50 2nd grade normal hearing students in Ahvaz, Iran. The first section of Diagnostic Reading Test (Shirazi – Nilipour, 2004) was used in this study. Then the mean reading scores of hearing impaired students in each grade was compared with control group using SPSS 13 with Mann Whitney test.Results: There was a significant difference between average scores of hearing impaired students (boys and girls) in 2nd to 5th grade with normal hearing students of 2nd grade (P<0.001). Reading comprehension scores of students with hearing impairment in higher grades had improved slightly, but it was still lower than that of the normal hearing students in the 2nd grade.Conclusion: It appears that reading comprehension skill of students with significant hearing impairment near the end of elementary school years becomes weaker than normal hearing students in the second grade. Therefore, it is essential to find and resolve the underlying reasons of this condition by all professionals who work in the field of education and rehabilitation of these students.
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