Annals of Dyslexia

, Volume 57, Issue 1, pp 3–32 | Cite as

Reading development subtypes and their early characteristics

  • Minna TorppaEmail author
  • Asko Tolvanen
  • Anna-Maija Poikkeus
  • Kenneth Eklund
  • Marja-Kristiina Lerkkanen
  • Esko Leskinen
  • Heikki Lyytinen


The present findings are drawn from the Jyväskylä Longitudinal Study of Dyslexia (JLD), in which approximately 100 children with familial risk of dyslexia and 100 control children have been followed from birth. In this paper we report data on the reading development of the JLD children and their classmates, a total of 1,750 children from four measurement points during the first two school years. In the total sample, we examined whether heterogeneous developmental paths can be identified based on profiles of word recognition and reading comprehension. Secondly, we studied what kind of early language and literacy skill profiles and reading experiences characterize the children with differing reading development in the follow-up sample. The mixture modeling procedure resulted in five subtypes: (1) poor readers, (2) slow decoders, (3) poor comprehenders, (4) average readers, and (5) good readers. The children with familial risk for dyslexia performed on average at a lower level in all reading tasks than both their classmates and the controls, and they were overrepresented in slow decoders subtype. Differences between the subtypes were found in the early language and literacy skill development, as well as in the reading experiences of the reading subtypes.


Reading subtypes Familial dyslexia risk Language development Simple view of reading 



The JLD belonged to the Finnish Center of Excellence Program (2000–2005) and was supported by the Academy of Finland (#213486), the Niilo Mäki Foundation and the University of Jyväskylä, and the Finnish National Graduate School of Psychology. We would like to thank the families who participated in the study. We also thank Matthew Wuethrich and Jane Erskine for polishing the language.


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Copyright information

© The International Dyslexia Association 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Minna Torppa
    • 1
    Email author
  • Asko Tolvanen
    • 1
  • Anna-Maija Poikkeus
    • 2
  • Kenneth Eklund
    • 1
  • Marja-Kristiina Lerkkanen
    • 2
  • Esko Leskinen
    • 3
  • Heikki Lyytinen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland
  2. 2.Department of Teacher EducationUniversity of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland
  3. 3.Department of Mathematics and StatisticsUniversity of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland

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