- The only way is up
- Risk factors, protective factors, and compensation in dyslexia
Elise de Bree
- Award date
- 23 February 2017
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Research Institute of Child Development and Education (RICDE)
Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that affects approximately 4-7% of primary school children and around 12% of secondary school students. Over the years, knowledge about identification, diagnosis, and intervention of dyslexia has become more advanced. Recent models of developmental disorders assume that dyslexia results from a complex interplay between risk and protective factors. However, research has so far mainly focused on risk factors for dyslexia. Important issues still exist regarding risk factors, specifically concerning the role of family risk in relation to dyslexia and early identification of risk factors. Also, not much is known about protective factors; existence of cognitive strengths in presence of underlying deficits, their interaction with risk factors, possible compensation, and consequences for diagnostic assessment. These issues were the main focus of this dissertation.
This dissertation contains studies on two specific populations of children; children with a family risk of dyslexia and gifted children with dyslexia. The main focus was on the role of early oral language and the influence of having a family risk of dyslexia on literacy outcomes. In addition, the potential impact of giftedness-related protective factors on literacy development was investigated to gain more insight in possibilities for compensation. Findings on both populations are connected to add to theories on dyslexia and are discussed in relation to diagnostic practice. Special attention was paid to correct application and limitations of criteria for diagnosis and intervention of dyslexia in gifted children.
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