Series Preface


Chapter One: Understanding Dyslexia

What is Dyslexia?

What Dyslexia is and is Not

Subtypes of Reading Problems and Dyslexia

Characteristics of Dyslexia

Prevalence of Dyslexia

Definitions of Dyslexia

Misconceptions About Dyslexia


Chapter Two: A Brief History of Dyslexia

Early Case Studies and Investigations By Physicians

Examples of the Earliest Reports

Dr. James Hinshelwood

Dr. Samuel Orton

Drs. Norman Geschwind and Albert Galaburda

Psychologists and Educators Exploring Diagnosis and Treatment

Dr. Marion Monroe

Dr. Grace Fernald

Dr. Samuel A. Kirk

Drs. Doris Johnson and Helmer Myklebust


Chapter Three: The Brain and Dyslexia

Historical Studies Relating Brain Function to Language Difficulties

The Structure of the Brain and the Neural Systems for Reading

The Structure of the Brain

Neural Systems for Reading

Statistical Issues in Functional Brain Imaging

Brain Structure Abnormalities Implicated in Dyslexia

Implications of Brain Imaging Studies


Chapter Four: Genetics and the Environment


Genes and Chromosomes

Twin Studies

Gender Differences



Home Environment

School Environment


Chapter Five: Assessment of the Cognitive and Linguistic Correlates of Dyslexia

Phonological Awareness

Assessment of Phonological Awareness

Rapid Automatized Naming

Assessment of Ran

Processing Speed

Assessment of Processing Speed

Orthographic Coding


Assessment of Working Memory


Chapter Six: Assessment of Decoding, Encoding, and Reading Fluency

Development of Decoding, Encoding, and Reading Fluency

Ehri’s Phases of Sight Reading

Stages and Phases of Spelling Development

Strategy Theory

Assessment of Decoding and Encoding

Assessment of Orthographic Awareness


Assessment of Morphology

Assessment of Basic Reading Skills and Spelling

Word Reading and Word Spelling

The Dual-Route Theory

Nonword Reading and Spelling

Assessment of Reading Fluency

Methods of Assessing Fluency


Chapter Seven: Instruction in Phonological Awareness: Early Reading/Spelling Skills



Phoneme-Grapheme Relationships

Oral Language

Effective Commercial Programs


Chapter Eight: Instruction in Basic Reading and Spelling Skills

Basic Reading Skills



Chapter Nine: Instruction in Reading Fluency

Components of Reading Fluency

Reading Fluency Instruction


Chapter Ten: Technology Applications for Students With Dyslexia

Personal, Instructional, and Assistive Technology

Technology Tools For Students With Literacy Barriers Due To Dyslexia

Putting It All Together: A Framework For Instructional Planning


Chapter Eleven: Dyslexia in Different Languages and English Language Learners

Orthography in Different Languages

Dyslexia Across Different Orthographies

Dyslexia or Second Language Learning?


Chapter Twelve: Dyslexia in the Schools

Legislation Impacting Schools and Students With Dyslexia

The Role of The Public School in Diagnosing Dyslexia and Providing Services

Does The Student Have Characteristics of A Student With Dyslexia?

Accommodations and Modifications

Emotional Impact of Dyslexia

The Importance of Teacher Training


Appendix: Descriptions of Evidence-Based Programs



Annotated Bibliography

About the Authors


End User License Agreement


Go to to access Wiley’s ebook EULA.


Essentials of Psychological Assessment Series

Series Editors, Alan S. Kaufman and Nadeen L. Kaufman

Essentials of 16 PF® Assessment

by Heather E.-P. Cattell and James M. Schuerger

Essentials of Assessment Report Writing

by Elizabeth O. Lichtenberger, Nancy Mather, Nadeen L. Kaufman, and Alan S. Kaufman

Essentials of Assessment with Brief Intelligence Tests

by Susan R. Homack and Cecil R. Reynolds

Essentials of Bayley Scales of Infant Development–II Assessment

by Maureen M. Black and Kathleen Matula

Essentials of Behavioral Assessment

by Michael C. Ramsay, Cecil R. Reynolds, and R. W. Kamphaus

Essentials of Career Interest Assessment

by Jeffrey P. Prince and Lisa J. Heiser

Essentials of CAS Assessment

by Jack A. Naglieri

Essentials of Cognitive Assessment with KAIT and Other Kaufman Measures

by Elizabeth O. Lichtenberger, Debra Broadbooks, and Alan S. Kaufman

Essentials of Conners Behavior Assessments™

by Elizabeth P. Sparrow

Essentials of Creativity Assessment

by James C. Kaufman, Jonathan A. Plucker, and John Baer

Essentials of Cross-Battery Assessment, Second Edition

by Dawn P. Flanagan, Samuel O. Ortiz, and Vincent C. Alfonso

Essentials of DAS-II® Assessment

by Ron Dumont, John O. Willis, and Colin D. Elliot

Essentials of Dyslexia Assessment and Intervention

by Nancy Mather and Barbara J. Wendling

Essentials of Evidence-Based Academic Interventions

by Barbara J. Wendling and Nancy Mather

Essentials of Forensic Psychological Assessment, Second Edition

by Marc J. Ackerman

Essentials of IDEA for Assessment Professionals

by Guy McBride, Ron Dumont, and John O. Willis

Essentials of Individual Achievement Assessment

by Douglas K. Smith

Essentials of KABC-II Assessment

by Alan S. Kaufman, Elizabeth O. Lichtenberger, Elaine Fletcher-Janzen, and Nadeen L. Kaufman

Essentials of MillonInventories Assessment, Third Edition

by Stephen Strack

Essentials of MMPI-A™ Assessment

by Robert P. Archer and Radhika Krishnamurthy

Essentials of MMPI-2® Assessment, Second Edition

by David S. Nichols

Essentials of Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® Assessment, Second Edition

by Naomi Quenk

Essentials of NEPSY®-II Assessment

by Sally L. Kemp and Marit Korkman

Essentials of Neuropsychological Assessment, Second Edition

by Nancy Hebben and William Milberg

Essentials of Nonverbal Assessment

by Steve McCallum, Bruce Bracken, and John Wasserman

Essentials of PAI® Assessment

by Leslie C. Morey

Essentials of Processing Assessment

by Milton J. Dehn

Essentials of Response to Intervention

by Amanda M. VanDerHeyden and Matthew K. Burns

Essentials of Rorschach® Assessment

by Tara Rose, Nancy Kaser-Boyd, and Michael P. Maloney

Essentials of School Neuropsychological Assessment

by Daniel C. Miller

Essentials of Specific Learning Disability Identification

by Dawn Flanagan and Vincent C. Alfonso

Essentials of Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales (SB5) Assessment

by Gale H. Roid and R. Andrew Barram

Essentials of TAT and Other Storytelling Assessments, Second Edition

by Hedwig Teglasi

Essentials of Temperament Assessment

by Diana Joyce

Essentials of WAIS®-IV Assessment

by Elizabeth O. Lichtenberger and Alan S. Kaufman

Essentials of WIAT®-III and KTEA-II Assessment

by Elizabeth O. Lichtenberger and Kristina C. Breaux

Essentials of WISC®-IV Assessment, Second Edition

by Dawn P. Flanagan and Alan S. Kaufman

Essentials of WJ III™ Cognitive Abilities Assessment, Second Edition

by Fredrick A. Schrank, Daniel C. Miller, Barbara J. Wendling, and Richard W. Woodcock

Essentials of WJ III™ Tests of Achievement Assessment

by Nancy Mather, Barbara J. Wendling, and Richard W. Woodcock

Essentials of WMS®-IV Assessment

by Lisa Whipple Drozdick, James A. Holdnack, and Robin C. Hilsabeck

Essentials of WNV ™ Assessment

by Kimberly A. Brunnert, Jack A. Naglieri, and Steven T. Hardy-Braz

Essentials of WPPSI ™-III Assessment

by Elizabeth O. Lichtenberger and Alan S. Kaufman

Essentials of WRAML2 and TOMAL-2 Assessment

by Wayne Adams and Cecil R. Reynolds


I dedicate this book to my wonderful nieces and nephew: Kristen, Nancy, Charlie, Joanna, and Emily. You are the best!!!

—Aunt Nancy

In loving memory of my father and in honor of my mother. Thank you for giving me life!


There are many poor readers among very bright children, who, because they are poor readers, are considered less keen than their class-mates. This book should really be dedicated to the thousands of bright children thus misjudged.

—Stanger & Donohue, 1937, p. 43


In the Essentials of Psychological Assessment series, we have attempted to provide the reader with books that will deliver key practical information in the most efficient and accessible style. The series features instruments in a variety of domains, such as cognition, personality, education, and neuropsychology. For the experienced clinician, books in the series will offer a concise yet thorough way to master utilization of the continuously evolving supply of new and revised instruments, as well as a convenient method for keeping up to date on the tried-and-true measures. The novice will find here a prioritized assembly of all the information and techniques that must be at one’s fingertips to begin the complicated process of individual psychological diagnosis.

Wherever feasible, visual shortcuts to highlight key points are utilized alongside systematic, step-by-step guidelines. Chapters are focused and succinct. Topics are targeted for an easy understanding of the essentials of administration, scoring, interpretation, and clinical application. Theory and research are continually woven into the fabric of each book, but always to enhance clinical inference, never to sidetrack or overwhelm. We have long been advocates of “intelligent” testing—the notion that a profile of test scores is meaningless unless it is brought to life by the clinical observations and astute detective work of knowledgeable examiners. Test profiles must be used to make a difference in the child’s or adult’s life, or why bother to test? We want this series to help our readers become the best intelligent testers they can be.

Essentials of Dyslexia: Assessment and Intervention is designed for assessment professionals, educators, and parents who are interested in understanding, assessing, and helping individuals who have dyslexia. This new Essentials book meets the demands of current educational reforms. Instead of focusing on the use and interpretation of assessment instruments, the focus is squarely upon the most common type of learning disability: dyslexia. In order to diagnose a disability, one must first understand the nature of the disability. The authors of Essentials of Dyslexia: Assessment and Intervention, world-renowned intervention experts Nancy Mather and Barbara Wendling have created a readable resource that makes current research accessible to a variety of audiences. A glossary is included to assist readers who may be unfamiliar with some of the terms.

Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of dyslexia, beginning with helping the reader to understand what dyslexia really is. Subsequent chapters deal with the history of the disorder; research related to the brain, genetics, and environment; assessment of the cognitive and linguistic correlates of dyslexia; assessment and instruction of reading and spelling skills; technology applications; and dyslexia in other languages. In addition to all of the instructional strategies contained within the chapters, a detailed appendix includes summaries of evidence-based commercial programs for the treatment of dyslexia. This book demonstrates how targeted assessments resulting in an accurate diagnosis can lead to the most appropriate interventions for the many students who struggle to learn to read and spell.

Alan S. Kaufman, PhD, and Nadeen L. Kaufman, EdD, Series Editors

Yale University School of Medicine


We are deeply grateful to Drs. Bennett and Sally Shaywitz for their willingness to contribute to a chapter in this book. In addition, Dr. Bennett Shaywitz provided us with a helpful critique of the genetics chapter. Martha Youman was an essential contributor to our preparation of this book: writing one chapter, contributing to another, reviewing others, and creating several figures. We would also like to thank Drs. Kathleen Puckett and Blanche O’Bannon for their timely chapter on technology. Throughout the preparation of this book, Dr. Robert Colligan provided us with many current research articles related to dyslexia for which we were very appreciative. We also want to thank Ron Hockman, C. Wilson Anderson, Jr., and Stephanie Bieberly for their contributions of informal assessment measures. We sincerely appreciate the willingness of all contributors to write descriptions of evidence-based interventions for the Appendix. We are indebted to Marquita Flemming, Senior Editor, and Sherry Wasserman, Senior Editorial Assistant from John Wiley & Sons, Inc. for their support and guidance during the development and production of this book. Leigh Camp, Production Editor, guided us skillfully through the final stages of preparation. Finally, we express our deepest gratitude to Drs. Alan and Nadeen Kaufman for their leadership and vision that led to the creation of the Essentials series and for their interest in and support of this project.