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Date of Award

5-2013

Document Type

Campus Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Communication Disorders

First Advisor

Mary V. Andrianopoulos

Second Advisor

Mary Lynn Boscardin

Third Advisor

Patricia Mercaitis

Subject Categories

Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Speech and Hearing Science

Abstract

Developmental dyslexia is a specific impairment of reading ability in the presence of normal intelligence and adequate reading instruction. Current research has linked dyslexia to genetic underpinnings, which are identifiable. Furthermore, there are cognitive processes that are influenced by unique genetically programmed neural networks that determine the manner in which a dyslexic child learns to read. As a result of these breakdowns in cognitive processing, specific breakdowns are noted using measurable assessments. The constellation of measurable symptoms or markers can differentiate the dyslexic child from other children who are typically developing readers or those who are poor readers for reasons not related to genetic pre-programming. Identification of children with dyslexia is critical in providing the appropriate services and remedial models as early intervention in the classroom is of the utmost importance. This study will investigate one aspect, motor function and motor processes that are purported to be one dimension associated with a breakdown in reading acquisition. According to the Cerebellar Deficit Hypothesis, motor function is one valid process and salient feature by which true dyslexia can be identified in children during the second grade year of their education. By the second grade, most typically developing children have acquired the fundamentals of reading. As such, early identification and appropriate intervention for children with dyslexia can be targeted as soon as possible to ensure long-term success and quality of life in these individuals.

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