Annals of Dyslexia

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 141–162 | Cite as

Spelling errors and reading fluency in compensated adult dyslexics

  • Dianne L. Lefly
  • Bruce F. Pennington
Part III Recent Research Findings


Generally, a person who is diagnosed as dyslexic remains diagnosably dyslexic all his/her life. However, occasionally, an individual compensates for his/her difficulties in some way, and by adulthood is no longer diagnosably dyslexic. In what ways are these compensated dyslexics different from both dyslexics and nondyslexics? We compared IQ, achievement test, and spelling error scores in adult dyslexics, adult nondyslexics, and adult compensated dyslexics (N=25) in the two studies reported here. The second study differed from the first in that the subjects were matched for age, education, IQ, and SES. In both studies, compensateds were significantly different from nondyslexics on the WRAT Spelling subtest and Reading Quotient scores. In the second study the compensateds differed from the nondyslexics in total raw score and average reading speed on Gray Oral Reading Test. On the other hand, they were different from dyslexics on all reading and spelling variables in both studies, except for PIAT Reading Comprehension in Study 2. Finally, in Study 2, the compensateds were different from both dyslexics and nondyslexics in average reading speed. In conclusion, it appears that compensation does not result from differences in IQ, education, or SES, though it may be influenced to some extent by sex. Compensateds appear very similar to nondyslexics in their reading and spelling skills; however, there appears to be a difference in the automaticity with which they apply these skills.


Reading Fluency Dyslexia Reading Speed Spelling Error Spelling Skill 
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Copyright information

© The Orton Dyslexia Society 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dianne L. Lefly
    • 1
  • Bruce F. Pennington
    • 1
  1. 1.University of DenverDenver

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