Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal 13: 357–359, 2000.
© 2000 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.
Dyslexia: A Hundred Years On (2nd edition) by T.R. Miles & Elaine Miles.
Published by Open University Press, 1999.
The second edition of Dyslexia: A Hundred Years On provides an overview
of research, assessment, and remediation in dyslexia. It will appeal to a wide
audience of readers including teachers, parents, psychologists, students, and
dyslexics themselves. This edition expands on issues raised in the ﬁrst edition
(1990), incorporating the advances made in research and remediation which
have arisen as a result of a growing awareness of dyslexia internationally.
The book begins by describing the initial scientiﬁc accounts of dyslexia,
from Pringle Morgan’s famous case study of Percy (1896), Hinshelwood’s
theory of congenital word blindness (1917), and Orton (1937) who used the
term strephosymbolia in his investigations of children who confused the order
of letters in words. The discussion of these early researchers provides an inter-
esting perspective from which the authors go on to discuss current theories in
the remaining chapters.
Methodological considerations in the study of dyslexia are set out in
Chapter 2, which introduces the reader to issues to be taken into account
when evaluating research in this area. This includes a discussion of case stud-
ies and different types of control groups (for example controls matched for
reading age and chronological age). These points become especially relevant
in Chapters 3 and 4. The ﬁrst of these deals with the effect of experimental
psychology’s inﬂuence in the growth of quantiﬁcation and systematic group
comparisons in the 1970s, and the second describes the evidence for the phon-
ological deﬁcit theory which emerged in the 1980s. An important addition to
this edition is Chapter 6 entitled Beyond Phonology, which reviews recent
attempts to supplement the dominant theory that dyslexics show impaired
phonological processing. Three approaches are critically examined; Tallal’s
(1980) position which sees dyslexia (along with language impairment) as
due to an auditory temporal processing impairment; attempts which use con-
nectionist modelling to gain insight into the cognitive resources available to
dyslexics when reading (e.g. Seidenberg & McClelland 1989); and the theory