Is developmental dyslexia modality specific? A visual auditory comparison of Italian dyslexics
Although developmental dyslexia is often referred to as a cross-modal disturbance, tests of different modalities using the same stimuli are lacking. We compared the performance of 23 children with dyslexia and 42 chronologically matched control readers on reading versus repetition tasks and visual versus auditory lexical decision using the same stimuli. With respect to control readers, children with dyslexia were impaired only on stimuli in the visual modality; they had no deficit on the repetition and auditory lexical decision tasks. By applying the rate-amount model (Faust et al., 1999), we showed that performance of children with dyslexia on visual (but not auditory) tasks was associated with that of control readers by a linear relationship (with a 1.78 slope), suggesting that a global factor accounts for visual (but not auditory) task performance.