Among the various theories proposed to explain developmental dyslexia (DD), the theory of specific procedural learning difficulties has gained certain support and is the framework for the current research. This theory claims that an inability to achieve skill automaticity explains the difficulties experienced by individuals with DD. Previous research on automaticity and DD has exhibited methodological issues such as a failure to test a range of skills. The current study broadens previous findings by delineating various reading skills correlated with several aspects of skill acquisition. Furthermore, the study utilizes two nonverbal tasks that reflect distinct types of skills: Serial Reaction Time (SRT) and the Tower of Hanoi Puzzle (TOHP). A total of 53 children aged 11 to 13 participated in the study, of whom 23 were children with DD and 30 were controls. Participants completed a test battery that consisted of reading tests, the SRT, and the TOHP. Results show no differences in learning rate between individuals with or without DD, although individuals with DD performed both tasks at a slower rate. Correlations were identified between a number of reading measures and measures of skill acquisition, expressed primarily in individuals with DD. Implications are examined in the discussion.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was supported by a grant made to Carol Goldfus for research at Gonda Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center, Bar Ilan University by the Phoenix Insurance Company, Israel.
© 2013, © Hammill Institute on Disabilities 2013.
- developmental dyslexia
- procedural learning