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Cognitive Profiles of Difficult-to-Remediate and Readily Remediated Poor Readers: Early Intervention as a Vehicle for Distingusishing Between Cognitive and Experiential Deficits as Basic Causes of Specific Reading Disability

Frank Vellutino and Donna Scanlon


Reading impaired first graders were given daily tutoring as a "first cut" diagnostic to aid in distinguishing between reading difficulties caused by basic cognitive deficits and those caused by experiential deficits.  Reading achievement in most of these children was found to be within or above the average range after one semester of remediation.  Children who were difficult to remediate performed below both children who were readily remediated and normal readers on kindergarten and first-grade tests evaluating phonological skills, but not on test evaluating visual, semantic, and syntactic skills.  The results are consistent with convergent findings from previous research, suggesting that reading problems in some poor readers may be caused primarily by phonological deficits.

* Journal of Educational Psychology, 88(4), pp. 601-638, 1996.

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