Résumé : The present study compares the strategies to read sentences used by Spanish-speaking children with dyslexia (n = 107) and cochlear-implanted children with deafness (n = 61). The results show that children with deafness, but not with dyslexia, adopt the key-word-strategy (KWS), which consists of identifying some content words of the sentence while ig-noring the function words. Furthermore, it appeared that the KWS was as-sociated with poor syntactic ability. Moreover, when Dyslexic and Deaf Groups were carefully matched at reading level with normally developing children (Control Group, n = 785) all of the differences between dyslexics and normally developing children disappeared. Children with hearing loss however were still slow at dealing with function words and consequently maintained their tendency to use the KWS. These results exclude the hy-pothesis that the KWS is a broadly used procedure to compensate for reading deficits but seems, rather, to depend on poor syntactic ability.