Word recognition processes of poor and disabled readers: Do they necessarily differ?

Mark S. Seidenberg, Margaret Bruck, Gail Fornarolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Children assessed as reading disabled are often thought to use decoding processes that differ from those of nondisabled children. This assumption was examined in a study that compared the word recognition skills of a group of clinic-diagnosed reading disabled children with those of good and poor readers. Subjects read words and nonwords containing either regular or homographic spelling patterns. Regular patterns have a single pronunciation (e.g., -UST) while homographic patterns have multiple pronunciations (e.g., -ONE). Analyses of the errors, latencies, and types of pronunciations indicated that while the performance of the poor and disabled readers differed from that of the good readers, the two below-average reader groups were very similar. The reading disabled children exhibited decoding processes similar to those exhibited by younger nondisabled readers. The results suggest that many children who meet the diagnostic criteria for reading disability may be indistinguishable from nondisabled children in terms of actual reading performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-180
Number of pages20
JournalApplied Psycholinguistics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Psychology(all)


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