Current Status of Treatments for Dyslexia: Critical Review

Ann W. Alexander, MD; Anne-Marie Slinger-Constant, MD


J Child Neurol. 2004;19(10):744-758. 

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Nonlinguistic Interventions

The remedial intervention studies discussed thus far have been linguistically driven. Individuals with dyslexia have been reported to have co-occurring nonlinguistic deficits as well. Heilman and Alexander summarized the most commonly reported and considered them to be deterrents to the efficient mapping of phonemic representations, which are essential as the building blocks for a strong phonologic system.[43] These nonlinguistic road blocks include.a) impaired temporal processing of rapidly presented brief auditory, visual, and somatosensory stimuli; b) a slowed response time across domains, which is thought to compromise working memory with its time-limited capacity; and c) an attention deficit compromising working memory as well as executive functions and sustained attention. Children with dyslexia can evidence poor sensorimotor coordination requiring bimanual and/or rhythmic output[44] ; poor postural stability and low tone in the upper body and labored acquisition of skilled motor tasks, such as shoe tying and handwriting[45]; and difficulty with temporal sequential ordering in short-term auditory memory and working memory.[46] Subtle impairments in visual function include impaired binocular vergence control, with inefficient fixation on near targets and less accurate localization of small dots on a screen; difficulty recognizing several visual items presented simultaneously; trouble with letters or words "swimming" or jumping around on the page; and trouble with left-right discrimination.[47]


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