Dyslexia improved by increasing space between letters


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Children with dyslexia have trouble reading. Training programmes tend to concentrate on phonological problems. A study of 34 Italian and 40 French dyslexic children aged 8–14 years (mean 10.4) with reading performance at least 2 standard deviations below age-appropriate norms compared how they read 24 short sentences in normal or widely spaced print (Fig. 1).[1] The two languages were used because Italian has what the authors call a transparent (phonetic) writing system, whereas French has a relatively opaque writing system like English. Wider spacing between letters improved reading speed 20% and doubled accuracy. The reading of control children without dyslexia matched for reading age did not improve with wider spacing between letters showing the benefit of wider letter spacing is specific for children with dyslexia.

Figure 1.

Normal text (A) and spaced text (B).

Reviewer: David Isaacs, david.isaacs@health.nsw.gov.au

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