Phonology and literacy: follow-up results of the Utrecht dyslexia and specific language impairment project
Developmental dyslexia: early precursors, neurobehavioral markers, and biological substrates
Paul H. Brookes
Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
Research Institute of Child Development and Education (RICDE)
This chapter assesses the relationship between phonology and literacy by comparing children at family risk of dyslexia, children
with SLI, and typically developing children on preschool phonological measures and literacy and phonological skills at eight
years of age. As expected, 37% of the family-risk group and half of the SLI group show literacy difficulties. Surprisingly,
there are no clear connections between the preschool phonological measures and literacy outcomes. The SLI group generally
obtained the lowest scores on the phonological measures, followed by the family-risk group, but these were not necessarily
linked to literacy outcome. In contrast, non-word repetition and rapid serial naming at 8 years of age do show a relationship
with literacy outcome, as well as group. The study thus 1) shows similarities and differences between the family-risk and
SLI groups, 2) confirms that phonology is a multidimensional skill that can affect literacy in different ways, 3) points to
compensatory domains across time and thus 4) can be accommodated within multi-risk models of dyslexia and SLI.
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