There is a pervasive culture of 'folk knowledge' about dyslexia, almost entirely unsupported by research. This is a blog about what the research really says.

In fairness, this blog represents a point of view - dyslexia is a skills deficit that is 'cured' with appropriate educational intervention. Not everyone agrees, but we find the evidence compelling and we think you will too.

This 'blog' is in oldest-to-newest order, and if you are just arriving then you should start at the beginning, at the top. Our citations point to journal abstracts, but you can almost always find the full research papers in Google Scholar.

The Torgesen Study

“Sixty children with severe reading disabilities… received 67.5 hours of one-to-one instruction in two 50-minute sessions per day for 8 weeks. …  Within 1 year following the intervention, 40% of the children were found to be no longer in need of special education services.” Torgesen et al. (2001) selected 60

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What is Dyslexia?

This posting takes the first step in examining dyslexia research – laying out the framework of what we will be looking at. A good place to start is the definition of dyslexia used by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). “Dyslexia

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Matthew Effects in Reading

If you only read one paper on the theory of reading disability, find the one by Dr Keith Stanovich called “Matthew effects in reading: Some consequences of individual differences in the acquisition of literacy”. Its title comes from a paraphrase of the Gospel of Matthew: “The rich get richer and

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Sight-Recognition Words

“Readers read familiar words by accessing them in memory, called sight word reading. With practice, all words come to be read automatically by sight, which is the most efficient, unobtrusive way to read words in text.”  Ehri (2005)   Do not confuse ‘sight-recognition’ words with ‘sight-words’ (the irregular words that

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Types of Phonics

An alphabetic writing system is a code for converting the sounds of speech into text. For example the sounds /b/ /a/ /t/ can be coded as ‘bat’.  Spelling is a two-way code, a skilled writer can encode the sounds into a string of letters, and a skilled reader can subsequently

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How Dyslexia Became the Child’s Fault

This post is going to unpack the point in history where psychologists and teachers decided that a deficit in phoneme skills to be ‘something wrong’ with your child, and why a child with dyslexia is treated as if he has a medical or developmental problem. This is a long read, but

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