Cognitive Profiles of Difficult-to-Remediate and Readily Remediated Poor Readers: Early Intervention as a Vehicle for Distinguishing between Cognitive and Experiential Deficits as Basic Causes of Specific Reading Disability

Frank R. Vellutino, Donna M. Scanlon, Edward R. Sipay, Sheila G. Small, Rusan Chen, Alice Pratt, Martha Bridge Denckla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Reading impaired first graders were given daily tutoring as a "first cut" diagnostic to aid in distinguishing between reading difficulties caused by basic cognitive deficits and those caused by experiential deficits. Reading achievement in most of these children was found to be within or above the average range after one semester of remediation. Children who were difficult to remediate performed below both children who were readily remediated and normal readers on kindergarten and first-grade tests evaluating phonological skills, but not on tests evaluating visual, semantic and syntactic skills. The results are consistent with convergent findings from previous research suggesting that reading problems in some poor readers may be caused primarily by phonological deficits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)601-638
Number of pages38
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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