- Early identification and intervention in children at risk for reading difficulties
T.H. van Leeuwen
- Award date
- 3 December 2014
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Research Institute of Child Development and Education (RICDE)
In pre-readers, a familial background of dyslexia and/or delayed emergent literacy should be considered a not-to-ignore risk signalling problems with learning to read. This thesis aims to study early identification and intervention in at-risk children shortly before or after the start of formal instruction. The relation between pre-attentive learning in the pre-reading phase and attentive learning performance as implicated in reading and spelling was investigated with event-related potentials (ERPs) using a habituation paradigm. To a series of unfamiliar visual standards, future poor readers showed an increase instead of the expected decrease in neural activity in an early time window, which suggests inefficient processing of new information and may explain deficits in the automatization of reading skills. In a second ERP study, behavioral and neural evidence indicated that in beginning at-risk readers pictorial priming may facilitate the integration of phonological and orthographic information during word recognition. Moreover, atypical neural responding to congruent information observed in the group with low emergent literacy seems to mark already at kindergarten age the beginning of reading difficulties. The long-term effects on reading acquisition of a short and sustained version of a computerized tutor-assisted program were studied in two cohorts, differing in time of enrolment and risk. Although the 14-week home-based intervention appeared to be effective in the short-term, the improved letter knowledge and phonemic awareness did not transfer to reading ability. In contrast, completing the 2-year school-based intervention positively affected reading outcome with proportions of normal and poor readers approaching norm-referenced standards.
- Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
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