Word-Recognition Skills of Adults With Childhood Diagnoses of Dyslexia

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336 Scopus citations


This study investigated whether the same pattern of reading deficits that characterize dyslexic children continue to characterize this population as it reaches adulthood. Standardized and experimental reading tasks were administered to college students with childhood diagnoses of dyslexia, and to age-matched and reading-matched control subjects. Despite relatively high levels of reading comprehension, dyslexics showed inaccurate and particularly slow word-recognition skills. Dyslexics did not use age-appropriate, and in some cases reading-level-appropriate word-recognition processes. They relied heavily on the use of spelling-sound information, syllabic information, and context for word recognition. Word-recognition difficulties reflected poor knowledge of spelling-sound correspondences. Adult dyslexics' patterns of performance were most similar to those of beginning skilled readers and to dyslexic children. The term arrest rather than deviance or delay best characterizes the word-recognition skills of adult dyslexics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)439-454
Number of pages16
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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