Reading and spelling disabilities in children with and without a history of early language delay: A neuropsychological and linguistic study

Anna Maria Chilosi, Daniela Brizzolara, Laura Lami, Claudia Pizzoli, Filippo Gasperini, Chiara Pecini, Paola Cipriani, Pierluigi Zoccolotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Language delay is a frequent antecedent of literacy problems, and both may be linked to phonological impairment. Studies on developmental dyslexia have led to contradictory results due to the heterogeneity of the pathological samples. The present study investigated whether Italian children with dyslexia showed selective phonological processing deficits or more widespread linguistic impairment and whether these deficits were associated with previous language delay. We chose 46 children with specific reading deficits and divided them into two groups based on whether they had language delay (LD) or not (NoLD). LD and NoLD children showed similar, severe deficits in reading and spelling decoding, but only LD children showed a moderate impairment in reading comprehension. LD children were more impaired in phonological working memory and phonological fluency, as well as in semantic fluency, grammatical comprehension, and verbal IQ. These findings indicate the presence of a moderate but widespread linguistic deficit (not limited to phonological processing) in a subset of dyslexic children with previous language delay that does not generalize to all children with reading difficulties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)582-604
Number of pages23
JournalChild Neuropsychology
Volume15
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009

Keywords

  • Dyslexia
  • Early language delay
  • Phonological processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

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