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      Annual Research Review: The nature and classification of reading disorders – a commentary on proposals for DSM-5


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          This article reviews our understanding of reading disorders in children and relates it to current proposals for their classification in DSM-5. There are two different, commonly occurring, forms of reading disorder in children which arise from different underlying language difficulties. Dyslexia (as defined in DSM-5), or decoding difficulty, refers to children who have difficulty in mastering the relationships between the spelling patterns of words and their pronunciations. These children typically read aloud inaccurately and slowly, and experience additional problems with spelling. Dyslexia appears to arise principally from a weakness in phonological (speech sound) skills, and there is good evidence that it can be ameliorated by systematic phonic teaching combined with phonological awareness training. The other major form of reading difficulty is reading comprehension impairment. These children read aloud accurately and fluently, but have difficulty understanding what they have read. Reading comprehension impairment appears to arise from weaknesses in a range of oral language skills including poor vocabulary knowledge, weak grammatical skills and difficulties in oral language comprehension. We suggest that the omission of reading comprehension impairment from DSM-5 is a serious one that should be remedied. Both dyslexia and reading comprehension impairment are dimensional in nature, and show strong continuities with other disorders of language. We argue that recognizing the continuities between reading and language disorders has important implications for assessment and treatment, and we note that the high rates of comorbidity between reading disorders and other seemingly disparate disorders (including ADHD and motor disorders) raises important challenges for understanding these disorders.

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          Neuroscience of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: the search for endophenotypes.

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            Decoding, Reading, and Reading Disability

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              Reading acquisition, developmental dyslexia, and skilled reading across languages: a psycholinguistic grain size theory.

              The development of reading depends on phonological awareness across all languages so far studied. Languages vary in the consistency with which phonology is represented in orthography. This results in developmental differences in the grain size of lexical representations and accompanying differences in developmental reading strategies and the manifestation of dyslexia across orthographies. Differences in lexical representations and reading across languages leave developmental "footprints" in the adult lexicon. The lexical organization and processing strategies that are characteristic of skilled reading in different orthographies are affected by different developmental constraints in different writing systems. The authors develop a novel theoretical framework to explain these cross-language data, which they label a psycholinguistic grain size theory of reading and its development. Copyright (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved.

                Author and article information

                J Child Psychol Psychiatry
                J Child Psychol Psychiatry
                Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines
                Blackwell Publishing Ltd (Oxford, UK )
                May 2012
                05 December 2011
                : 53
                : 5
                : 593-607
                [1 ]Department of Psychology, University of York York, UK
                [2 ]Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, University College London, UK
                Author notes
                Correspondence to Maggie Snowling, Department of Psychology, University of York, York YO10 5DD, UK; Tel: 01904 323162; Email: mjs19@ 123456york.ac.uk

                Re-use of this article is permitted in accordance with the Terms and Conditions set out at http://wileyonlinelibrary.com/onlineopen#OnlineOpen_Terms

                © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry © 2011 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health

                Re-use of this article is permitted in accordance with the Creative Commons Deed, Attribution 2.5, which does not permit commercial exploitation.

                : 05 October 2011
                Annual Research Reviews

                Clinical Psychology & Psychiatry
                reading disorders,dyslexia,language disorders,reading comprehension impairment,intervention


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