- Journal of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus
- May/June 2012 - Volume 49 · Issue 3: 184-188
To evaluate whether visual impairment in albinism contributes significantly to the acquisition of normal reading skills.
The authors administered standardized reading tests to 41 children and 18 adults with albinism. The Young Children’s Achievement Test was used for children between 4 and 6 years old and the Woodcock–Johnson III was used for children 7 years and older and adults. Parents of children and adult subjects also completed a questionnaire to document developmental, academic, and/or work experiences. The Spearman test was used to evaluate the relationship between binocular best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and reading test results.
Standardized reading tests in both children and adults with albinism showed a normal distribution of scores. BCVA did not appear to play a significant role in the development of normal reading ability in these individuals who were visually impaired except for a mild correlation of decreased reading fluency on the Woodcock–Johnson III with decreased BCVA (r = 0.287, P = .046). Many young children with albinism had superior reading skills despite having a BCVA of 20/200 or worse (legal blindness).
This study of cognitively normal children and adults with albinism demonstrates that impaired vision during childhood does not by itself significantly impede a child’s ability to acquire normal reading skills. However, the lower reading fluency that occurs in the more visually impaired individuals suggests they would benefit, both in the school system and workplace, with an accommodation involving more time to complete reading tasks.
From the Departments of Pediatrics (JTM, BRK, CGS), Neurology (JTM), and Ophthalmology (AMH, CGS), University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; and the Department of Special Education (SW), St. Paul School District 197, St. Paul, Minnesota.
Supported in part by an unrestricted grant to the Department of Ophthalmology from Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc., New York, New York.
The authors have no financial or proprietary interest in the materials presented herein.
Address correspondence to John T. MacDonald, MD, University of Minnesota, Department of Neurology, Division of Clinical Pediatric Neuroscience, PWB 12-125, 420 Delaware Street S.E., Minneapolis, MN 55455. E-mail: email@example.com
Received: July 27, 2011
Accepted: September 14, 2011
Posted Online: November 08, 2011