A Self-report Oriented Toward Visuoperceptive and Visuomotor Alterations for the Early Identification of Dyslexic Children

Main Article Content

Carlo Aleci
Claudio Rosa


Background: Early diagnosis is the main requisite for rehabilitating children suspected to suffer from dyslexia, and self-reports may be as reliable as ordinary screenings, but far less expensive. Research shows that the visual function can be involved in the pathogenesis of dyslexia so that self-reports should inquire about visual signs as well. A questionnaire made of 21 items that provide scores based on the visual signs commonly reported by dyslexics and on the most relevant comorbidities according to the literature has been devised. The aim of this exploratory study is to evaluate its potential for the early identification of dyslexic children.

Methods: The AAP-DD is a set of 21 items subdivided into 4 sections that inquire about visual signs (section S), fatty acid deficiency, inheritance of dyslexia, and related conditions in children and parents. Each item is assigned a specific visuomotor and visuosensory weight in the form of a coefficient. The parents of twenty-three dyslexic children (9.34±0.80 years) and twenty-four normal readers filled the questionnaire. To assess the correspondence between the outcome of the questionnaire and the actual visual function of each participant, spatial relationship perception and ocular movements have been tested psychophysically.

Results: The score of the dyslexic sample was almost double (i.e. worse) compared to the control group (P <.0001). Sensitivity and specificity were, respectively, 87% and 62%. Section S was the most informative, accounting for up to 41% of the variance of the reading rate. Correlation between the DEM and the AAP-DD scores suggests the questionnaire reflects the actual visuomotor condition of the subject.

Conclusion: The AAP-DD seems promising to screen children at risk for dyslexia, and is, therefore, worth to be further investigated in a larger population. The obtained results support the role of the visual function in the pathogenesis of this condition.

Dyslexia, self-report, DEM, vision, risk factors.

Article Details

How to Cite
Aleci, C., & Rosa, C. (2020). A Self-report Oriented Toward Visuoperceptive and Visuomotor Alterations for the Early Identification of Dyslexic Children. Archives of Current Research International, 20(8), 23-35. https://doi.org/10.9734/acri/2020/v20i830217
Original Research Article


Lloyd-Jones D, Wilson P, Larson M, Beiser A, Leip E, D'Agostino R, et al. Framingham risk score and prediction of lifetime risk for coronary heart disease. Am J Cardiol. 2004;94(1):20-4. DOI: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2004.03.023.

Macchia A, Levantesi G, Borrelli G, Franzosi MG, Maggioni AP, Marfisi RM, et al. A clinically practicable diagnostic score for metabolic syndrome improves its predictivity of diabetes mellitus: Gruppo Italiano per lo Studio della Sopravvivenza nell’Infarto miocardico (GISSI)-Prevenzione scoring. Am Heart J. 2006; 151(3):754.e7-754.e17. DOI: org/10.1016/j.ahj.2005.10.023.

Tosetto A, Iorio A, Marcucci M, Baglin T, Cushman M, Eichinger S et al. Predicting disease recurrence in patients with previous unprovoked venous thromboembolism:a proposed prediction score (DASH). J Thromb Haemost. 2012; 10(6):1019-25. DOI: 10.1111/j.1538-7836.2012.04735.x

Menekse E, Kocer B, Topcu R, Olmez A, Tez M, Kayaalp C. A practical scoring system to predict mortality in patients with perforated peptic ulcer. World J Emerg Surg. 2015;10:7. DOI: org/10.1186/s13017-015-0008-7

Walland M. Use of the Medmont Automated perimeter with the scoring tool for assessing risk (STAR) II glaucoma risk calculator. Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2008; 36(9):899-900. DOI: 10.1111/j.1442-9071.2009.01917.x

Stephen C, Benjamin L. The East London glaucoma prediction score: web-based validation of glaucoma risk screening tool. Int J Ophthalmol. 2013;6(1):95-102. DOI: 10.3980/j.issn.2222-3959.2013.01.20

Peterson RL, Pennington BF. Developmental dyslexia. Lancet. 2012; 379(9839):1997-2007. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60198-6

Finucci JM, Whitehouse CC, Isaacs CC, Childs B. Derivation and validation of a quantitative definition of specific reading disability for adults. Dev Med Child Neurol. 1984;26(2):143-53. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.1984.tb04425.x

Decker SN, Vogler GP, Defries JC. Validity of self-reported reading disability by parents of reading-disabled and control children. Read Writ. 1989;1(4):327-31. DOI: 10.1007/BF00386265.

Schulte-Körne G, Deimel W, Remschmidt H. Can self-report data on deficits in reading and spelling predict spelling disability as defined by psychometric tests? Read Writ. 1997;9(1):55-63. DOI: 10.1023/A:1007941403441

Lefly DL, Pennington BF. Reliability and validity of the adult reading history questionnaire. J Learn Disabil. 2000; 33(3):286-96. DOI: 10.1177/002221940003300306

Snowling M, Dawes P, Nash H, Hulme C. Validity of a protocol for adult self-report of dyslexia and related difficulties. Dyslexia. 2012;18(1):1-15. DOI: 10.1002/dys.1432

Bjornsdottir G, Halldorsson JG, Steinberg S, Hansdottir I, Kristjansson K, Stefansson H, et al. The adult reading history questionnaire (ARHQ) in Icelandic: psychometric properties and factor structure. J Learn Disabil. 2014;47(6):532-42. DOI: 10.1177/0022219413478662

Tamboer P, Vorst HCM, Oort FJ. Identifying dyslexia in adults: An iterative method using the predictive value of item scores and self-report questions. Ann Dyslexia. 2014;64(1):34-56. DOI: 10.1007/s11881-013-0085-9

Tamboer P, Vorst, HCM. A new self-report inventory of dyslexia for students: Criterion and construct validity. Dyslexia. 2015;21:1-34. DOI: org/10.1002/dys.1492

Tamboer P, Vorst HCM, de Jong PF. Six factors of adult dyslexia assessed by cognitive tests and self-report questions: Very high predictive validity. Res Dev Disabil. 2017;71:143-68. DOI: 10.1016/j.ridd.2017.09.010

Baker SM. A biochemical approach to the problem of dyslexia. J Learn Disabil. 1985;18(10):581-4. DOI: 10.1177/002221948501801003.

Taylor KE, Higgins CJ, Calvin CM, Hall JA, Easton T, McDaid AM et al. Dyslexia in adults is associated with clinical signs of fatty acid deficiency. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2000;63(1-2):75-8. DOI: 10.1054/plef.2000.0195

Hugdahl K, Synnevmg B, Satz P. Immune and autoimmune diseases in dyslexic children. Neuropsychol. 1990;28(7):673-9. DOI: 10.1016/0028-3932(90)90122-5

Cho K, Frijters JC, Zhang H, Miller LL, Gruen JR. Prenatal exposure to nicotine and impaired reading performance. J Pediatr. 2013;162(4):713-18. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2012.09.041.

Mascheretti S, Marino C, Simone D, Quadrelli E, Riva V, Cellino MR et al. Putative risk factors in developmental dyslexia: A case-control study of Italian children. J Learn Disabil. 2015;48(2):120-9. DOI: 10.1177/0022219413492853

Hokkanen L, Launes J, Michelsson K. Adult neurobehavioral outcome of hyperbilirubinemia in full term neonates-a 30 year prospective follow-up study. Peer J. 2014;2:e294. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.294.

Liu L, Wang J, Shao S, Luo X, Kong R, Zhang X, et al. Descriptive epidemiology of prenatal and perinatal risk factors in a Chinese population with reading disorder. Sci Rep. 2016;6:36697. DOI: 10.1038/srep36697

Aleci C. Dyslexia: A Visual Approach. New York: Nova Science Publishers Inc; 2013.

Aleci C, Canavese L. A computational approach to the anamnestic collection in neuroophthalmology: the Analytic Anamnestic Protocol. Research. 2015; 2:1421. DOI:10.13070/rs.en.2.1421

Stein J, Walsh V. To see but not to read; the magnocellular theory of dyslexia. Trends Neurosci. 1997;20(4):147-52. DOI: 10.1016/s0166-2236(96)01005-3

Raghuram A, Hunter DG, Gowrisankaran S, Waber DP. Self-reported visual symptoms in children with developmental dyslexia. Vision Res. 2019;155:11-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.visres.2018.11.007

Pennington BF, Gilger JW. How is dyslexia transmitted? In: Chase CH, Rosen GD, Sherman GF, editors. Developmental dyslexia: neural, cognitive and genetic mechanisms. Baltimore: New York Press; 1999.

Stein J, Talcott J. Impaired neuronal timing in developmental dyslexia-the magnocellular hypothesis. Dyslexia. 1999; 5:59-77.

Willcutt EG, Pennington BF, DeFries JC. Twin study of the etiology of comorbidity between reading disability and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Am J Med Genet. 2000;96(3):293-301. DOI: 10.1002/1096-8628(20000612)96:3<293::aid-ajmg12>3.0.co;2-c

Mascheretti S, Andreola C, Scaini S, Sulpizio S. Beyond genes: A systematic review of environmental risk factors in specific reading disorder. Res Dev Disabil. 2018;82:147-52. DOI: 10.1016/j.ridd.2018.03.005

Golz A, Netzer A, Westerman ST, Westerman LM, Gilbert DA, Joachims HZ et al. Reading performance in children with otitis media. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2005;132(3):495-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.otohns.2004.09.030

Gilger JW, Pennington BF, Green P, Smith SM, Smith SD. Reading disability, immune disorders and non-right-handedness: Twin and family studies of their relations. Neuropsychol. 1992;30(3):209-27. DOI: 10.1016/0028-3932(92)90001-3

Atkinson J. Review of human visual development: Crowding and dyslexia. In: Stein J, editor. Vision and visual dyslexia. London: MacMillian Press, Houndmills; 1991.

Bouma H, Legein CHP. Foveal and parafoveal recognition of letters and words by dyslexics and by average readers. Neuropsychol. 1977;15(1):69-80. DOI: 10.1016/0028-3932(77)90116-6.

Martelli M, Di Filippo G, Spinelli D, Zoccolotti P. Crowding, reading, and developmental dyslexia. J Vis. 2009;9(4):1-18. DOI: 10.1167/9.4.14

Spinelli D, De Luca M, Judica A, Zoccolotti P. Crowding effects on word identification in developmental dyslexia. Cortex. 2002;38(2):179-200. DOI: 10.1016/S0010-9452(08)70649-X.

Aleci C, Piana G, Piccoli M, Bertolini M. Developmental dyslexia and spatial relationship perception. Cortex. 2012; 48(4):466-76. DOI: 10.1016/j.cortex.2010.10.004

Aleci C, Piana G, Anselmino F. Evaluation of spatial anisotropy by curvature analysis of elliptical targets. Open Ophthalmol J. 2010;4:15-21. DOI: 10.2174/1874364101004010015

Bouma H. Interaction effects in parafoveal letter recognition. Nature. 1970;226(5241): 177-8.

Garzia RP, Richman JE, Nicholson SB, Gaines CS. A new visual-verbal saccade test: the development eye movement test (DEM). J Am Optom Assoc. 1990;61(2): 124-35.

Cornoldi C, Colpo G, Gruppo MT. Prove di Lettura MT. Guida all’uso. Firenze: Organizzazioni Speciali; 1981.

Stanley G, Hall R. Short-term visual information processing in dyslexics. Child Dev. 1973;44(4):841-4.

Harrison AJ, Nichols E. A validation of the Dyslexia Adult Screening Test (DAST) in a post secondary population. J Res Read. 2005;28(4):423-34. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9817.2005.00280.x