High reading skills mask dyslexia in gifted children
until further notice
Number of pages
SourceJournal of Learning Disabilities, 49, 2, (2014), pp. 189-199
Article / Letter to editor
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Journal of Learning Disabilities
SubjectLearning and Plasticity
This study investigated how gifted children with dyslexia might be able to mask literacy problems and the role of possiblecompensatory mechanisms. The sample consisted of 121 Dutch primary school children that were divided over fourgroups (typically developing [TD] children, children with dyslexia, gifted children, gifted children with dyslexia). The testbattery included measures of literacy (reading/spelling) and cognitive abilities related to literacy and language (phonologicalawareness [PA], rapid automatized naming [RAN], verbal short-term memory [VSTM], working memory [WM], grammar,and vocabulary). It was hypothesized that gifted children with dyslexia would outperform children with dyslexia on literacytests. In addition, a core-deficit model including dyslexia-related weaknesses and a compensational model involvinggiftedness-related strengths were tested using Bayesian statistics to explain their reading/spelling performance. Giftedchildren with dyslexia performed on all literacy tests in between children with dyslexia and TD children. Their cognitiveprofile showed signs of weaknesses in PA and RAN and strengths in VSTM, WM, and language skills. Findings indicate thatphonology is a risk factor for gifted children with dyslexia, but this is moderated by other skills such as WM, grammar, andvocabulary, providing opportunities for compensation of a cognitive deficit and masking of literacy difficulties.
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