Thinking outside the boxes: using current reading models to assess and treat developmental surface dyslexia

Caroline Law, Linda Cupples*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Improving the reading performance of children with developmental surface dyslexia has proved challenging, with limited generalisation of reading skills typically reported after intervention. The aim of this study was to provide tailored, theoretically motivated intervention to two children with developmental surface dyslexia. Our objectives were to improve their reading performance, and to evaluate the utility of current reading models in therapeutic practice. Detailed reading and cognitive profiles for two male children with developmental surface dyslexia were compared to the results obtained by age-matched control groups. The specific area of single-word reading difficulty for each child was identified within the dual route model (DRM) of reading, following which a theoretically motivated intervention programme was devised. Both children showed significant improvements in single-word reading ability after training, with generalisation effects observed for untrained words. However, the assessment and intervention results also differed for each child, reinforcing the view that the causes and consequences of developmental dyslexia, even within subtypes, are not homogeneous. Overall, the results of the interventions corresponded more closely with the DRM than other current reading models, in that real word reading improved in the absence of enhanced nonword reading for both children.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)149-195
    Number of pages47
    JournalNeuropsychological Rehabilitation
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2017


    • surface dyslexia
    • dual route model of reading
    • intervention
    • developmental
    • reading


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