Defining Dyslexia

Max Coltheart, Nancy Ewald Jackson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    20 Citations (Scopus)


    We argue against defining dyslexia as requiring by definition the presence of demonstrable phonological difficulty, and also against defining it inrelation to exclusion criteria. Instead, we suggest that what matters isevaluating any child's set of reading subskills against age-related norms for those subskills. We also argue that in considering the causes of readingdifficulty it is essential to distinguish between proximal cause (someabnormality in the information-processing system that the child is using to read) and distal cause (the reason for this system being abnormal). The same proximal cause (e.g. poor phonic knowledge) can be the product of different distal causes in different children (e.g. the distal cause might be constitutional, environmental, or educational).

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)12-16
    Number of pages5
    JournalChild Psychology and Psychiatry Review
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1998


    Dive into the research topics of 'Defining Dyslexia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this