Learning from Success: Routes to Reading for Compensated Dyslexics
Hélène Deacon

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

Award Year



Dalhousie University

Primary Discipline

Literacy and/or English/Language Education
Reading difficulties have far-reaching and devastating economic, social, and health ramifications; individuals with low literacy levels are more likely to have incomes below the poverty line, higher incarceration rates, and shorter life spans. I intend to examine how some individuals with early reading difficulties achieve later success in reading. To do so, I will examine how an estimated 22 to 25% of children with reading difficulties (such as dyslexia) are able to recover from these early challenges, at least to the point that they can comprehend text and participate in higher education as adults. It is clear that these ‘compensated dyslexics’ are not achieving reading through the classic route of letter-sound correspondences, and so I will examine two alternative avenues: an appreciation of the letter- and meaning-patterns in print. These routes might work independently or in tandem to offer alternative inroads into reading for compensated dyslexics. The results of this study will inform us as to how individuals with a history of reading difficulties access the meaning in texts. This foundational information will allow educators to target critical areas in teaching to ensure that all individuals achieve the efficient reading ability necessary for successful participation in, and contribution to society.
About Hélène Deacon

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