[PS-1.40] Differences in profiles of disabled readers: Is everyone dyslexic?

Zaretsky, E. 1 & Velleman, S. 2

1 University of Massachusetts Boston
2 University of Vermont

Reading as a highly advanced cognitive-linguistic skill can be viewed as two-component model (Gough & Tanmer, 1986). Oral-language-related component includes the lexicon and knowledge of morphosyntax, both of which facilitate comprehension, while linguistic-code-related component is associated with word recognition and depends on initial phonological representations, which form the basis of future decoding and encoding. Aside from vocabulary, one of the crucial skills in reading acquistion is phonological awareness (PA) i.e. abstract skill that allows manipulation of individual phonemes within the word structure. PA developmentaly depends on aspects of verbal working memory (VWM), i.e. phonological memory (PM) and working memory (WM) capacity. Success in performing PA tasks depends on either PM or WM capacity. Rapid automotized naming (RAN) has also been associated with success in reading (Wolf, 1997). Traditionally, children with dyslexia have shown deficits along the phonological processing continuum (Frith, 1995), resulting in poor graphem-phoneme mapping. Some individuals with dyselxia may exhibit deficits along the oral language continuum as well, such as delayed language acquistion and some deficits in both aspects of VWM. However, other clinical populations with speech and language disorders, such as Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) may also exhibit poor reading outcomes. This particular population may have sever deficits in all aspects of reading pre-requisits. This paper examines underlying psycholinguistic and reading profiles of a child with reading deficits associate with phonological processing deficits and classified as phonological dyselxic and a child with CAS and reading deficits. The differences in underlying pre-requisite skills and subsequent reading outcomes highlight the need for better understanding of the nature of deficits in reading for better classification of children with reading disabilities that will lead to better instructional practices.