Blampain, E. & Van Reybroeck, M.
Purpose. While copying skills are daily used at school, there is little evidence about whether dyslexic children have a specific deficit in copying, in addition to their spelling deficit. Therefore, the present study aimed to examine in detail copying skills of children with and without dyslexia.
Method. Nineteen French-speaking Grade 3 and 4 dyslexic children were compared to 19 chronological age matched children (CA children) and 19 spelling age matched children (SA children). Participants were asked to perform 40-word dictation and copying tasks on the same target words. For each word, spelling, handwriting and gaze lifts measures were taken into account. Control measures on vocabulary, nonverbal intelligence, handwriting and reading were administered.
Results. GLMM analyses showed that all children did fewer spelling errors in the copying than in the dictation task, but had poorer handwriting quality in the copying task. In the copying task, dyslexic children made more spelling errors and more gaze lifts. They also used different copying strategies compared to CA children. Dyslexic children behaved in a similar way to SA children.
Conclusion. These findings suggest that dyslexic children do have impaired copying skills. A better understanding of these difficulties could open up new perspectives for therapy.