NetherlandsLine 2: Interventions of reading and spelling disabilities

This line addresses the intervention of reading and spelling disabilities from both an experimental and a clinical perspective. Research focuses on effective mechanisms of intervention of disfluent reading, on treatment-induced neurocognitive changes in the reading network, and on clinically meaningful effects of dyslexia treatment.

Projects within this line of research include:

1. Comorbid dyslexia and internalizing problems: Etiology and treatment effects.

Children with dyslexia experience clinical levels of internalizing problems more often than non-dyslexic children. While there is evidence that dyslexia and internalizing problems co-occur, the interrelatedness of the two problems is unclear. Furthermore, little is known about the role of implicit processes in dyslexia. Current studies to the effect of dyslexia treatment on comorbid internalizing problems are limited and inconclusive. Longitudinal information regarding interrelated effects of dyslexia and internalizing problems could provide useful information on treatment effects. Therefore, the aims of this study are to: (1) increase understanding of the etiology of comorbid dyslexia and internalizing problems, (2) enhance the explanatory power of comorbidity by adding implicit measures, (3) develop and test a new intervention targeting comorbid dyslexia and internalizing problems. Two groups of children with comorbid dyslexia and internalizing problems will be compared repeatedly on implicit and explicit measures: (a) children receiving dyslexia treatment plus treatment for internalizing problems and (b) children receiving dyslexia treatment only.

Researchers: Marija Maric, Patrick Snellings, Elske Salemink

2. Fluent reading acquisition neurocognitively decomposed: The case of dyslexia

Funded by the Netherlands Initiative Brain and Cognition, a part of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) (HCMI, pillar ‘Health’, innovative program ‘Treating cognitive disturbances on the basis of functional brain typography’), in collaboration with Maastricht University, department of Cognitive Neuroscience.

PhD: Gorka Fraga González

Other researchers: Maurits van der Molen, Jurgen Tijms (Maastricht University: Leo Blomert, Milene Bonte, Gojko Zaric (PhD))

3. Relationship between early treatment-induced changes in letter-speech sound mapping and treatment effectiveness on reading fluency

This project addresses the question of the extent to which treatment-induced changes in the quality of letter-speech sound mappings are predictive of treatment effects on reading fluency.

Researchers: Gorka Fraga González, Jurgen Tijms

4. Improving reading fluency: the role of associative learning and massive exposure

Partially funded by the Jeanne S. Chall Research Fellowship of the International Reading Association (IRA).

This project is focused on the intervention of reading fluency for children with dyslexia, by systematically manipulating explicit, rule/based learning mechanisms, and implicit massive exposure to letter-speech sound mappings, and by investigating the impact of these manipulations on letter-speech sound integration and on the acquisition of fluent reading skills.

PhD: Sebastián Aravena

Other researchers: Maurits van der Molen, Patrick Snellings, Jurgen Tijms

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