Annals of Dyslexia

, Volume 61, Issue 1, pp 111–135 | Cite as

Orthographic processing efficiency in developmental dyslexia: an investigation of age and treatment factors at the sublexical level

  • Beth A. O’Brien
  • Maryanne Wolf
  • Lynne T. Miller
  • Maureen W. Lovett
  • Robin Morris


Reading fluency beyond decoding is a limitation to many children with developmental reading disorders. In the interest of remediating dysfluency, contributing factors need to be explored and understood in a developmental framework. The focus of this study is orthographic processing in developmental dyslexia, and how it may contribute to reading fluency. We investigated orthographic processing speed and accuracy by children identified with dyslexia that were enrolled in an intensive, fluency-based intervention using a timed visual search task as a tool to measure orthographic recognition. Results indicate both age and treatment effects, and delineate a link between rapid letter naming and efficient orthographic recognition. Orthographic efficiency was related to reading speed for passages, but not spelling performance. The role of orthographic learning in reading fluency and remediation is discussed.


Developmental dyslexia Fluency Intervention Orthographic processing 



The authors wish to thank the children who participated in this research, and their families and teachers for their support, and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments. This study was conducted within a larger intervention project funded by NICHD (#HD30970, awarded to Morris, Lovett & Wolf).


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Copyright information

© The International Dyslexia Association 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beth A. O’Brien
    • 1
  • Maryanne Wolf
    • 2
  • Lynne T. Miller
    • 2
  • Maureen W. Lovett
    • 3
  • Robin Morris
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Education, CECHUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA
  2. 2.Tufts UniversityMedfordUSA
  3. 3.Hospital for Sick ChildrenTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Georgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA

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