Early reading treatment in children with developmental dyslexia improves both reading and spelling

Anna Judica, Maria De Luca, Paola Angelelli, Donatella Spinelli, Pierluigi Zoccolotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Developmental reading and spelling disorders are the most common learning disabilities and they have severe scholastic consequences. The present study aimed to test the efficacy of reading treatment in Italian third-grade children with dyslexia and its possible generalization to writing performance. A group of 10 third-grade children with dyslexia participated in the study. The main procedure of the treatment was a computerized program that included a tachistoscopic presentation of single words. Each child underwent 35 treatment sessions. Pre-and post-training reading performance was measured by two standard reading tests and vocal reaction time recordings. Pre-and post-training spelling ability was also measured using a standard spelling test. The percentage of improvement in accuracy and speed in reading texts and lists of words (not included among the trained items) was greater than the developmental increase characteristic of non-disabled children. Reading comprehension was only moderately affected and did not change appreciably after therapy. Results indicate the effectiveness of a reading treatment in the early stages of reading acquisition and the strict relationship between reading and spelling systems at this age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-35
Number of pages14
JournalBPA Applied Psychology Bulletin
Issue number279
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2017


  • Dyslexia
  • Learning disability
  • Reading
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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