Dyslexia – what works?

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There’s no shortage of screening methods, diagnostic processes and support measures for dyslexia, but which of them, if any, are backed up by scientific evidence?

To find out the Swedish government commissioned the Swedish Council on Technology Assessment in
Health Care (SBU) to carry out a systematic review of the various tests and interventions available in Sweden (more than 50 according to the European Dyslexia Association).

The review conformed to the PRISMA Statement and included literature found in four different international databases – PubMed, PsycInfo, ERIC and LLBA – until September 2013. The SBU team
found that while there’s sufficient evidence that teaching children with dyslexia how to associate speech sounds (phonemes) with letters (graphemes) in a structured way benefits reading comprehension,
reading speed, spelling and phonological awareness, there’s insufficient evidence in respect of other forms of literacy training or assistive technologies such a mobile apps.

The researchers say that in the light of the growing societal demands on individuals to read and write more should be done to find reliable tools to assess and assist individuals with dyslexia and that parents and individuals diagnosed with dyslexia may need help coping with the expectation that help is available, as this hope is often awakened during the evaluation process.

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Special World, from Inclusive Technology, is a free website linking 125,000 special education teachers, speech therapists and occupational therapists in 150 countries. Special World readers and contributors work with children who have additional needs or special educational needs including those with severe, profound and multiple learning difficulties and disabilities.

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