Evidence for superior orthographic skills in dyslexics

Linda S. Siegel, Esther Geva, David Share

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study was to assess the development of both phonological and orthographic skills in normally achieving and dyslexic readers The subjects were 257 dyslexic and 342 normally achieving readers, matched at eight reading levels They were administered the Woodcock (1987) Word Attack Subtest, a measure of phonological skills requiring the reading of pseudowords, and an orthographic awareness task designed to measure awareness of the properties of English words and the probable sequences and positions of letters within words The dyslexics had significantly higher scores than the normally achieving readers on the orthographic awareness task However, the normally achieving readers had significantly higher scores on the Word Attack Subtest Therefore, the difficulties with phonological processing and the increased orthographic awareness of the dyslexics may indicate a reading strategy that relies more on the visual than the phonological features of words.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-254
Number of pages5
JournalPsychological Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1995

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank Jane Heintz Grove, Norman Himel, and Sharon Smith for assistance with the data collection and analysis, Letty Guinela for secretarial help, and Marie Therese Le Normand for her hospitality at l'hôpital de la Salpetriere, Paris We would also like to thank Andrew Biemiller John Kershner, Carolyn Lennox, Peter Lindsay, Un Shafrir, Shepard Siegel, Keith Stanovich, Frank Vellutino Judy Wiener, and Dale Willows for valuable comments on earlier drafts of the manuscript This research was supported by a grant to L S Siegel from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and prepared while L S Siegel held a Senior Research Fellowship from the Ontario Mental Health Foundation of Canada

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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