Early and Late Diagnosed High School Students with Dyslexia: Performance on Literacy and Underling Cognitive Correlates

Early and Late Diagnosed High School Students with Dyslexia: Performance on Literacy and Underling Cognitive Correlates

First Author: Loes Bazen -- University of Amsterdam
Additional authors/chairs: 
Madelon van den Boer; Elise de Bree; Peter F. de Jong
Keywords: Dyslexia, Adolescent, Word reading skills
Abstract / Summary: 

Purpose
Although a diagnosis of dyslexia is often made during elementary school, the severe and persistent literacy difficulties of a considerable group of students are only noticed during high school. The question arises whether the literacy and literacy-related deficits of these late identified student with dyslexia are less severe than those of early diagnosed students or whether performance is the same.
Method
Tenth Grade Dutch high school students with early (n = 31) and late (n = 19) identified dyslexia and their normal reading peers (n = 25 ) were compared on literacy skills and underlying literacy-related cognitive skills. Performance was analyzed at the group as well as at the individual level (case series).
Results
The groups of Early and Late diagnosed dyslexia students did not differ from each other on any of our measures of literacy ((pseudo-)word reading and spelling) and underlying cognitive correlates (phonemic awareness, rapid naming, and visual attention span), but performed lower than the normal readers. The three groups did not differ in reading comprehension and visual short term memory. At the individual level a larger number of students in the Early than in the Late group showed deficits in phonemic awareness.
Conclusions
Impairments of Early and Late identified students with dyslexia were largely similar. This suggests that deficits in Late identified students may have been late emerging and were not merely missed earlier in education.