Dyslexi genom livet : Ett utvecklingsperspektiv på läs- och skrivsvårigheter

Sammanfattning: The thesis reports a follow-up study from eight years of age to adulthood for a group of students with dyslexic problems compared to a matched group of students without such problems. The empirical basis of the thesis is provided by the research project, Reading Development in Kronoberg, which has been supplemented by data from adulthood in the form of questionnaires, test results and interviews. The thesis comprises three studies. In Study I, the aim is to examine how reading and writing disabilities emerge during the first school years. The Simple View of Reading, was used to classify the poor readers into various subgroups. In Study II, the reading development of students with reading disability was examined at group and individual levels. The theme of Study III is a comparison of the living conditions of adults in a group of dyslexics compared to a group without difficulties, and to investigate how the participants in the study have tackled their problems. The results reveal a development pattern among dyslexic students, with early phonological problems persisting into adulthood in spite of substantial special education measures, in school Baseline performance at eight years of age is by far the best predictor of adult skills. No clearly discernible subgroups were found among the dyslexic students. The result profiles indicate a great variation among the participants, both regarding function and degree of impairment. Nevertheless, a number of students in the dyslexic groups have achieved surprisingly good word decoding abilities. In addition to the degree of impairment, factors such as reading development, the teaching of reading demands for reading and writing in adult life, and individual coping ability affect the outcome of the perceived difficulties. It is of the utmost importance that special needs education in the future be guided by a thorough assessment and follow-up program where manifest reading and writing skills as well as underlying cognitive functions are profiled. Moreover, intervention should follow evidence-based methods in order to prevent educational failure and social maladjustment among pupils. The thesis demonstrates that reading and writing disabilities have major consequences for educational achievement and working life outcomes, in addition to many other aspects of adult livelihood.