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Treatment for developmental dyslexia improvements in language associated with improvements in reading decoding



Treatment for developmental dyslexia improvements in language associated with improvements in reading decoding



Society for Neuroscience Abstracts 26(1-2): Abstract No -31 3



Developmental dyslexia, a disorder characterized by poor decoding skills, has a prevalence of 5-10%. Phonological awareness has been identified as a core deficit in dyslexia. We investigated the effects of two computerized training programs, Fast ForWord(R) and Step4Word(tm), on the language, phonological awareness, and decoding skills of dyslexic children. Both children with dyslexia and age-matched normal controls were included in the study. All subjects were administered a battery of standardized reading, language, and phonological processing measures. The children with dyslexia received intensive training with acoustically-modified speech, via computerized exercises targeting speech discrimination and language comprehension skills, for 90-100 minutes per day, 5 days per week, for 4 to 6 weeks. While control subjects exhibited a relationship between their phonological awareness abilities (i.e., elision and sound blending) and reading decoding skills, the dyslexic children did not. Following training, the children with dyslexia demonstrated significant improvements on reading, language, and phonological processing measures. Improvements in language skills were significantly correlated with reading decoding measures. There was a trend indicating an association between phonological awareness and subsequent reading performance. Findings lend support to the premise that the inability to process language underlies the problems of children with dyslexia.

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