After summarising previous research into reading disability, certain areas of psychology which are the scene of considerable contemporary activity and which are believed to have important relevance to the understanding of reading disability are discussed. These include the reawakened interest in the concept of dyslexia and the relatively new science of psycholinguistics.
A number of exploratory experiments and empirical inquiries are described, including:
1. The identification of symptoms which discriminated between controls and severe reading disability cases referred to the Remedial Education Centre.
2. An examination of sub-tests of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children which discriminated between referrals and good readers. In particular, the Coding (Form B) and Digit Span appear to test skills at the Integrative level of perceptual organisation.
3. An examination of the relationships between reading disability and performance on the Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic Abilities, and a comparison between these relationships and that of measured intelligence and reading disability.
4. An experiment to examine the relative abilities of poor readers and controls, at Grade IV level, to reproduce tachistoscopically presented letter sequences in writing. The controls' superiority was more marked at higher order approximation to English.
Similar inquiries, together with an examination of ability to discriminate and reproduce auditorily presented stimuli were consolidated into a single experiment at Grade II level. In general, this experiment confirmed earlier findings, except that WISC (Form A) favoured the reading disability group rather than the controls, while the control group was consistently superior in the written reproduction of letter sequences, irrespective of order of approximation to English.
In the light of the experimental findings, the belief is expressed that a diagnosis of dyslexia can be made with some confidence, and educational implications are discussed.