Getting to grips with the heterogeneity of developmental dyslexia

Genevieve McArthur*, Saskia Kohnen, Linda Larsen, Kristy Jones, Thushara Anandakumar, Erin Banales, Anne Castles

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The aim of this study was to better understand the heterogeneity of developmental dyslexia by identifying the most common deficits in the reading systems of children with dyslexia with different poor word reading profiles. We classified the word reading profiles of 138 children with developmental dyslexia using nonword and irregular-word reading tests and then used independent experimental tests to explore the cognitive deficits within their word reading systems. The most common deficit associated with primary sublexical impairment (i.e., poor nonword reading) was poor grapheme-phoneme conversion (GPC) knowledge. The most common deficits associated with primary lexical impairment (i.e., poor irregular-word reading) were an impaired orthographic lexicon plus impaired links between this lexicon and the phonological lexicon and semantic knowledge. Finally, the most common deficits associated with mixed reading impairment (i.e., poor nonword reading and poor irregular-word reading) were poor GPC knowledge, an impaired orthographic lexicon, poor links between this lexicon and the phonological lexicon and semantic knowledge, and poor phonological output. We discuss the implications of these findings for theories of reading and for the diagnosis and treatment of dyslexia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalCognitive Neuropsychology
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013

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