Authors: Joly-Pottuz B, Mercier M, Leynaud A, Habib M
Title: Combined auditory and articulatory training improves phonological deficit in children with dyslexia
Source: Neuropsychological Rehabilitation 2008 18(4): 402-429
Year: 2008
Research Design: Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: 05/10
This rating is confirmed
Eligibility specified - N
Random allocation - Y
Concealed allocation - N
Baseline comparability - Y
Blind subjects - N
Blind therapists - N
Blind assessors - N
Adequate follow-up - Y
Intention-to-treat analysis - N
Between-group comparisons - Y
Point estimates and variability - Y

A group of 19 children with dyslexia aged 7 years 2 months to 10 years 9 months were selected from a clinical sample and tested using a large neuropsychological battery in order to specify the severity and subtype of dyslexia as well as the presence of comorbid conditions. Thereafter, they received a standardised training of 6 weeks of daily auditory exercises aimed at reinforcing explicit and implicit phonological awareness. Ten participants also received specific training of the sensory-motor aspects of articulatory production of individual phonemes during the first 3 weeks of auditory training, whereas the remaining received the same specific training during the last 3 weeks of auditory training. Repetition, phonological awareness, reading and spelling were assessed before the first session, between the two sessions and after the second session. Results confirm the overall efficiency of intensive phonological training, even with exclusively auditory material. The main outcome of this study is a significant improvement of phonology and non-word reading specifically during the periods where the two methods were associated, suggesting a significant contribution of articulatory training to the observed improvement. Finally performance to a motor tapping task proved to be one of the best predictors of training efficiency while comorbid co-ordination or attention deficit did not interfere. Results are interpreted with reference to current theories about mechanisms underlying dyslexia.

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