If reading disabilities were the result of developmental lags, disabled readers should catch up to their peers in proficiency at maturity. As a test of this hypothesis, current literacy skills were assessed for adults who did, and did not, have childhood reading disabilities. Contrary to the developmental lag hypothesis, most of the former group remained poor readers in adulthood, in many cases reading more than two standard deviations below levels predicted by IQ. Both within and between groups, very similar relationships were observed between reading level and: word recognition; phonic analysis; prose comprehension; reading speed; spelling ability and error types; and tolerance for visual and semantic text transformations. Other purported characteristics of dyslexia differentiated disabled from normal adult readers with only limited success. The results have implications for theoretical, methodological, and practical issues in the study of dyslexia in childhood as well as adulthood.
British Journal of Psychology – Wiley
Published: Aug 1, 1984
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