Is dyslexia a form of specific language impairment? A comparison of dyslexic and language impaired children as adolescents

Nata K Goulandris, Margaret J Snowling, Ian Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

54 Citations (Scopus)


Examined the notion of a continuum of language disorder directly by investigating the cognitive, linguistic, and literacy profiles of adolescents of school-leaving age who had a childhood history of either specific language impairment (SLI) or developmental dyslexia. Two groups of 15-16 yr olds with a childhood history of language impairment were compared with 20 14.0-18.9 yr old developmentally dyslexic Ss with the same nonverbal ability. The study also included 2 comparison groups of typically developing children, 1 of the same age as those in the clinical groups, and a younger comparison group of similar reading level to the dyslexic students. Tests of spoken and written language skills revealed that the adolescents with dyslexia were indistinguishable from those with resolved language impairments on spoken language tasks, and both groups performed at age expected levels. Both dyslexic readers and those with resolved specific language impairments showed deficits in phonological awareness. On written language tasks, a different pattern of performance was apparent. In reading and spelling, adolescents with dyslexia performed only as well as those with persistent oral language impairments and younger controls. However, their reading comprehension was better. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-120
Number of pages18
JournalAnnals of Dyslexia
Publication statusPublished - 2000


Cite this