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Treatment of Developmental Reading Disorders: A Visual Attention Span Deficit Approach

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posted on 13.11.2021, 10:45 by Jones, Ben

A current theory of the cognitive underpinnings of developmental reading disorders supposes that two impairments contribute to the overall profile of disordered reading: one of phonological awareness and one of visual attention span. The severity of each impairment is different for each child. By identifying children that display a severe degree of one impairment, but a limited degree of the other, each impairment can be investigated. The current study identified one participant with a stronger phonological impairment, and one with a stronger impairment of visual attention span. They completed two training programs: one program tailored to improve phonology, and one tailored to improve visual span. Both treatments improved reading performance in both participants. It was expected that the treatment targeting each participant‟s particular cognitive impairment would prove more effective for that participant. However, both treatments were found to show similar levels of improvement with both participants.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Science

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Psychology


Wilshire, Carolyn