A comparison of word recognition processes in dyslexic and normal readers at two reading-age levels

P A Szeszulski, F R Manis
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 1987, 44 (3): 364-76
This study addressed the question of whether dyslexic children use qualitatively different word identification processes as compared to normal readers at the same stage of reading acquisition. Fifty-two dyslexic children and reading-age matched normal readers were required to pronounce words and pseudowords designed to tap several word recognition and decoding processes. Performance profiles were compared for the two reading groups at two reading ages. Although an invariant acquisition sequence was observed across reading groups, differences in level of performance between dyslexics and reading-age controls varied as a function of reading age. The performance of the more advanced dyslexics was virtually indistinguishable from normal readers on all measures. In contrast, the younger reading age dyslexics differed from normal readers on several measures of spelling-sound correspondences. However, no reading group differences were observed on measures of word recognition. The results indicated that dyslexics and normal readers at the same reading age use essentially the same processes to recognize words, but may differ in knowledge of correspondence rules.


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