Developmental dyslexia: a condensed review of literature

Anna Belavina Kuerten, Mailce Borges Mota, Katrien Segaert


In this article we provide a condensed review of literature on developmental dyslexia. Starting with the historical background to this language-based reading disorder, we discuss four key components that are crucial for a valid and operational definition of developmental dyslexia. We then present the major theoretical explanations of developmental dyslexia in order to gain a better understanding of the causes of this reading disorder. These causal explanations are addressed in the context of Morton and Frith’s (1995) model. Four major theories of developmental dyslexia are discussed: the phonological deficit theory, the double-deficit theory, the magnocellular theory, and the cerebellar theory. The last section of this review addresses the model of reading development proposed by Frith (1986). Understanding the developmental progression of children’s abilities in reading is crucial in order to detect in which phase of this progression a breakdown attributed to dyslexia occurs.


Developmental Dyslexia; Dyslexic Children; Acquisition of Reading

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