LC Journal of Special Education


The ability and lack of ability to read have been well-researched for over a century. Early research done by the French neurologist Dejerine in 1896, helped pave the way for further research in the area of reading disabilities (Wolf, 1999). Dejerine first spoke of alexia, or the inability to read, which seemingly resulted from brain lesions in the temporal lobe. Since then, psychologists and educational professionals have researched dyslexia as well as the broad category of reading disabilities to find possible causes. Many theories and possible causes have surfaced as a result of this research. Most notably, research has identified four specific areas of deficit in relation to reading difficulties. These areas are phonological awareness, rapid automatic naming, visual-orthography, and the newly emerging “double deficit” hypothesis. The first part of this paper focuses on defining key terms in the area of reading disabilities. The second section focuses on current research available in support of or against the influence of these deficits on reading disabilities. Finally, the third section will use the information presented in current research as a guide for interventions to be used in the classroom curriculum.