Models of Reading Disability and Their Implications

  • Harold A. Solan
Part of the Topics in Biomedical Engineering International Book Series book series (TOBE)


Although reading disability has been discussed for over a century (Berlin, 1887; Hinshelwood, 1896, 1917), the nature of the disorder is still controversial. Children identified as being reading disabled (RD)1 have average or better than average intelligence, abundant educational opportunities, normal sensory acuities (seeing and hearing), no frank brain damage (e.g., cerebral palsy), and no primary emotional disturbances. This exclusionary definition supports the impression that we are dealing with an unexpected inability to learn to read. There have been numerous and varied estimates of the incidence of specific reading disability, some as high as 15% to 25% (Badian, 1984; Johnson, 1988). Most primary grade teachers would agree that, in an average class of twenty-five, four or five children are


Reading Comprehension Reading Skill Reading Disability Developmental Dyslexia Read Disable 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adams, M. J., 1995, Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning about Print, The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, pp. 31–54.Google Scholar
  2. Andersen, R. A., 1995, Coordinate transformations and motor planning in posterior parietal cortex, in: The Cognitive Neurosciences, M. S. Gazzaniga, ed., The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, Ch. 33, pp. 519–532.Google Scholar
  3. Ayres, A. J., 1989, Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests, Western Psychological Services, Los Angeles.Google Scholar
  4. Badian, N.A., 1984, Reading disability in an epidemiological context: Incidence and environmental correlates, J Learn Disabil. 17: 129–136.Google Scholar
  5. Bender L., 1958, Specific reading disability as a maturational lag, in: Psychopathology of Communications, P. H. Hoch & J. Zubin. eds., Grune & Stratton, New York, Ch. 11, pp. 155–176.Google Scholar
  6. Berlin, V. P., 1887, Eine Besondere Art der Wortblindheit. Stuttgart, Weisbaden.Google Scholar
  7. Birch, H.G., 1962, Dyslexia and the maturation of visual function, in: Reading Disability, J. Money, ed., Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, pp. 161–169.Google Scholar
  8. Birsh, J.R., 1999, Multisensory Teaching of Basic Language Skills, Paul H. Brookes, Baltimore.Google Scholar
  9. Brannan, J. R., Solan, H. A., Ficarra, A. P., & Ong, E., 1998, Effect of luminance on visual evoked potential amplitude in normal and disabled readers, Optometry Vision Sci. 75: 279–283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Breitmeyer, B. G., 1980, Unmasking visual masking: A look at the “why” behind the veil of the “how’, Psycho! Rev. 87: 52–69.Google Scholar
  11. Breitmeyer, B. G., 1993, The roles of sustained (P) and transient (M) channels in reading and reading disability, in: Facets of Dyslexia and its Remediation, S. F. Wright & R. Groner, eds., Elsevier Science Publishers, Amsterdam, pp. 13–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Buzzelli, A. R., 1991, Stereopsis, accommodative, and vergence facility: Do they relate to dyslexia? Optom Vis Sci. 68: 842–846.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chall, J., 1967, Learning to Read: The Great Debate, McGraw-Hill, New York.Google Scholar
  14. Chase, C. H., 1996, A visual deficit model of developmental dyslexia, in: DevelopmentalGoogle Scholar
  15. Dyslexia: Neural, Cognitive, and Genetic Mechanisms, C. H. Chase, G. D. Rosen, & G. F. Sherman, eds., York Press, Baltimore, Ch. 7, pp. 127–156.Google Scholar
  16. Chase, C. H. & Talla!, P., 1990, A developmental, interactive activation model of the word superiority effect, JExper Child Psycho!. 49: 448–487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ciuf reda, K. J. & Tannen, B., 1995, Eye Movement Basics for the Clinician, Mosby, St. Louis.Google Scholar
  18. Demb, J. B., Boynton, G. M., & Heeger, D. J., 1998, Functional magnetic resonance imaging of early visual pathways in dyslexia, JNeurosci. 18: 6939–6951.Google Scholar
  19. Eden, G. F., Stein, J. F., Wood, M. H., Wood, F. B., 1994, Differences in eye movements and reading problems in dyslexia and normal children, Vision Res. 4: 1345–1358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Eden, G. F., Stein, J. F., Wood, M. H., Wood, F. B., 1995, Verbal and visual problems in reading disability, J Learn DisabiL 28: 272–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Eden, G. F., Van Meter, J. W., Rumsey, J. M., Maisog, J., et al., 1996,. Abnormal processing of visual motion in dyslexia revealed by functional brain imaging, Nature. 382: 66–69.Google Scholar
  22. Eden, G.F. & Zeffiro, T.A..,1996, Looking beyond the reading deficits in dyslexia, a vision deficit, J NH Res. 8: 31–35.Google Scholar
  23. Fellerman, D. J. & Van Essen, D. C., 1991, Distributed hierarchical processing in primate visual cortex, Cereb Cortex. 1: 1–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Galaburda, A. M., 1988, Pathogenesis of childhood dyslexia, in: Language, Communications and the Brain, F. Plum, ed., Raven Press, New York, pp. 127–137.Google Scholar
  25. Galaburda, A. M., Rosen, F. D., Sherman, G. F., 1989, The neural origin of developmental dyslexia: implications for medicine, neurology, and cognition, in: From Reading to Neurons, A. M. Galaburda„ ed., The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, Ch. 14, pp. 377–385.Google Scholar
  26. Geshwind, N. & Galaburda, A. M., 1987, Cerebral Lateralization: Biological Mechanisms, Association, and Pathology, The MIT Press, Boston, pp. 20–47.Google Scholar
  27. Geyer, J. J., 1970, Models of perceptual processes in reading, in: Theoretical Models and Processes of Reading, H. Singer & R. B. Rudel, eds., International Reading Association., Newark, Del, pp. 47–94.Google Scholar
  28. Grisham, J. D. & Simons, H. D., 1986, Refractive error and the reading process: a literature analysis, J Am Optom Assoc. 57: 44–55.Google Scholar
  29. Gross, C. G., 1992, Visual function of inferotemporal cortex, in: Handbook of Sensory Physiology, R. Jung, ed., Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Vol 7 (3B), Ch. 23, pp. 451–482.Google Scholar
  30. Halperin, J. M., 1996, Conceptualizing, describing, and measuring components of attention, in: Attention. Memory, and Executive Function, G. R. Lyon & N. A. Krasnegor, eds., Brookes Publishing, Baltimore, pp. 119–136.Google Scholar
  31. Hinshelwood, J.,1896. A case of dyslexia: a peculiar form of word blindness, Lancet. 2: 1451.Google Scholar
  32. Hinshelwood, J., 1917, Congenital Word Blindness, H. K. Lewis, London:Google Scholar
  33. Hoffman, J.E. & Subramaniam, B., 1995, The role of visual attention in saccadic eye movements, Perception and Psychophysics. 57: 787–795.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hung, G. K., 1989, Reduced vergence response velocities in dyslexics: a preliminary report, Ophthal Physiol Opt. 9: 420–423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Johnson, D., 1988, Specific developmental disabilities of reading writing, and mathematics, in: Learning Disabilities: Proceedings of the National Conference, J. F. Kavanagh & T. J. Truss, Jr.,.eds., York Press, Parkton, MD, pp. 79–163.Google Scholar
  36. Lehmkuhle, S, Garzia, R. P., Turner, L., Hash, T., Baro, J.A., et al., 1993, A defective visual pathway in children with reading disability, New Engl J Med. 328: 989–996.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Lehmkuhle, S., 1993, Nurological basis of visual processes in reading, in: Visual Processes in Reading and Reading Disabilities, D. M. Willows, R. Kruk, & E.Corcos, ads., Lawrence Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ, pp. 77–94Google Scholar
  38. Lennerstrand, G., Ygge, J., Jacobson, C., 1993, Control of binocular eye movements in normals and dyslexics, in: Temporal Information Processing in the Nervous 4stem, P. Tallal, A. M. Galaburda, R. R.. Llinas, & C. von Euller, eds., New York Academy of Sciences, New York, pp. 231–239.Google Scholar
  39. Livingstone, M. S., Rosen, G., Drislane, F., & Galaburda, A., 1991, Physiological and anatomical evidence for magnocellular defect in developmental dyslexia, Proc National Aced Sci, USA. 88: 7943–7947.Google Scholar
  40. Lovegrove, W. J., Martin, F., & Slaghuis, W., 1986, A theoretical and experimental case for a visual deficit in specific reading disability, Cognitive Neuropsych. 3: 225–267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Mattis, S., French J. H., & Rapin, I., 1975, Dyslexia in children and young adults: Three independent neuro psychological syndromes, Dev Med Child Neurol. 17: 150–163.Google Scholar
  42. Mishkin, M., 1972, Cortical visual areas and their interconnections, in: A. G. Karczmar & J. C. Eccles, Brains and Human Behavior, A. G. Karczmar & J. C. Eccles, eds, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, pp. 185–208.Google Scholar
  43. Motter, B. C., 1991, Beyond extrastriate cortex: The parietal visual system, in: The Neural Basis of Visual Function. Vision and Visual function, Vol.4, A. G. Leventhal, ed., CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, pp. 371–381Google Scholar
  44. Pavlidis, G. Th., 1983, The “dyslexia syndrome” and its objective diagnosis by erratic eye movements, in: Eye Movements in Reading: Perceptual and Language Processes, K. Rayner, ed., Academic Press, New York, pp. 441–456.Google Scholar
  45. Pavlidis, G. Th., 1985, Eye movement differences between dyslexics, normal, and retarded readers while sequentially fixating digits. Amer J Optom & Physiol Optics. 62: 820–832.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Pennington, B. F., 1990, Diagnosing Learning Disorders: A Neurological Framework, The Guilford Press, New York, pp. 3–22.Google Scholar
  47. Satz P., Rardin D., & Ross, J., 1971, An evaluation of a theory of specific developmental dyslexia. Child Dev. 27: 2009–2021.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Satz, P. & Sparrow, S., 1970, Specific developmental dyslexia: A theoretical reformulation, in: Specific Reading Disability: Advances in Theory and Method, D. J. Bakker & P. Satz, eds., University of Rotterdam Press, Rotterdam, pp. 17–40.Google Scholar
  49. Sergeant, J., 1996,. A theory of attention: An information processing perspective, in: Attention, Memory, and Executive Function, R..Lyon & N. A. Krasnegor, eds., Brookes Publishing, Baltimore, pp. 57–69.Google Scholar
  50. Shapley, R., 1992, Parallel retinocortical channels: X and Y and M. Applications of parallel processing in vision. in: Applications of Parallel Processing in Vision, J. R. Brannan, ed., Amsterdam: Elsevier Science Publishers, Amsterdam, pp. 3–36.Google Scholar
  51. Shaywitz, S.E., Shaywitz, B.A., Fletcher, J.M., Escobar, M.D. 1990, Prevalence of reading disability in boys and girls, JAMA. 269: 998–1002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Siegel, L. S., 1988,.Evidence that IQ scores are irrelevant to the definition and analysis of reading disability, Can J Psychol. 42: 201–215.Google Scholar
  53. Sitnons, H. D. & Grisham, J. D., 1987, Binocular anomalies and reading problems., JAm Optom Assoc. 58: 578–587.Google Scholar
  54. Solan, H. A., Larson, S., Shelley-Tremblay, J., Ficarra, A., Silverman, M., 2001, Role of visual attention in cognitive control of oculomotor readiness in reading disabled students, J Learning Disabil, 34: 107–118.Google Scholar
  55. Solan, H. A., Ficarra, A. P., Brannan, J. R., Rucker, F., 1998, Eye movement efficiency in normal and reading disabled elementary school children: effects of varying luminance and wavelength, JAm Optom Assoc. 69: 455–464.Google Scholar
  56. Solan, H. A., Brannan, J. R., Ficarra, A. P., & Byne, R., 1997, Transient and sustained processing: effects of varying luminance and wavelength on reading comprehension, J Am Optom Assoc. 68: 503–510.Google Scholar
  57. Solan, H. A., Feldman, J., & Tujak, L., 1995, Developing visual and reading efficiency in older adults, Optometry Vision Sci, 72: 139–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Solan H. A. & Ficarra, A. P., 1990, A study of perceptual and verbal skills of disabled readers in grades 4, 5, 6, JAm Optom Assoc. 61: 628–634.Google Scholar
  59. Solan, H. A., 1985, Deficient eye-movement patterns in achieving high school students: Three case histories, J Learn Disabil. 18: 66–70.Google Scholar
  60. Solan, H. A., Usprich, C., Mozlin, R., Ali, S., Fitzpatrick, C., 1983, The auditory-visual integration test: Intersensory or temporal spatial? JAm Optom Assoc. 54: 607–616.Google Scholar
  61. Solan, H. A. & Mozlin, R. 1986, The correlation of perceptual motor maturation to readiness and reading in kindergarten and the primary grades, JAm Optom Assoc. 57: 28–34.Google Scholar
  62. Stein, J. F. & Walsh, J., 1997, To see but not to read; the magnocellular theory of dyslexia, Trends Neurosci. 20: 147–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Taylor, E. A., 1966, The Fundamental Reading Skill, Charles C Thomas, Springfield, IL. Vellutino, F. R., 1979, Dyslexia: Theory and Research., The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA., pp. 232–311.Google Scholar
  64. Williams, M. C., LeCluyse, K., Rock-Faucheux, A., 1992, Effective intervention for reading disability, JAm Optom Assoc. 63: 411–417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Wolf, M. & Bowers, P. G., 1999, The double deficit hypothesis for the double deficit dyslexias, J Educ Psycho/. 91: 415–438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harold A. Solan
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Clinical SciencesState University of New York, State College of OptometryNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations