, Volume 62, Issue 1, pp 22-52
Date: 13 Dec 2011

Is a cerebellar deficit the underlying cause of reading disabilities?

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Abstract

This study investigated whether children with dyslexia differed in their performance on reading, phonological, rapid naming, motor, and cerebellar-related tasks and automaticity measures compared to reading age (RA)-matched and chronological age (CA)-matched control groups. Participants were 51 children attending mainstream English elementary schools in Quebec. All participants completed measures of IQ, word and nonword reading fluency, elision, nonword decoding, rapid naming, bead threading, peg moving, toe tapping, postural stability, and muscle tone. Results from both group contrasts and analyses at the individual case level did not provide support for claims of motor–cerebellar involvement in either typical or atypical reading acquisition. Results were more consistent with a phonological core process account of both typical reading and reading difficulty. Phonological deficits for children with dyslexia compared to RA-matched controls were, however, only evident in group contrasts. Findings thus also have important implications for identifying at-risk readers among their same-aged peers.