Reading achievement in children following left or right hemispherectomy

Reading achievement in children following left or right hemispherectomy

First Author: Joanna Christodoulou -- Society for the Scientific Study of Reading
Additional authors/chairs: 
Kelly Halverson; Olivia Meegoda; Heather Beckius; Andrea Imhof ; Stella deBode; Tami Katzir
Keywords: cognitive processes, Word reading skills, compensation, Brain development, Poor readers
Abstract / Summary: 

Purpose: This study examined psychoeducational skills in children who had undergone either a left or a right hemispherectomy. The goal of this study was to investigate cognitive, language, and literacy skills in children obligatorily relying on a left versus a right hemisphere to inform our understanding of a compensatory role of either hemisphere.
Method: Participants who had undergone left hemispherectomy (LH; n = 10) or right hemispherectomy (RH; n = 14) completed standardized assessments of nonverbal cognition, language, and reading in 1:1 sessions. Groups were balanced for gender and age.
Results: While both LH and RH groups demonstrated largely below age-normed performance across standardized measures, relative areas of strength (within 1.5 SD of the standardized population mean) were shown for rapid automatized naming skills across groups and in the RH group only for phonological awareness, sentence memory, timed and untimed real and pseudoword reading, vocabulary, and reading fluency. This trend favoring the RH group versus the LH group for these language-based measures was statistically significant for untimed real word and pseudoword reading.
Conclusions: Investigations of psychoeducational skills in children following hemispherectomy surgery can offer important insights into compensatory potential for left and right hemispheres.