Dyslexia in higher education

Some 1-3% of the population have specific reading problems unrelated to overall intelligence or other limitations (pure dyslexia). This means that each year tens of students with dyslexia enter higher education. To know how to help them, we have decided to direct some of our resources and expertise to this problem. More specifically, we tried to get a clear and objective picture of the strengths and weaknesses of dyslexic students in higher education and the measures they find helpful.

We have run an in-depth study of 100 students with dyslexia and 100 controls on an extensive battery of tests. This allowed us to address questions such as:

  • Which tests are particularly informative to assess dyslexia? Several tests have been developed in recent years, but few of them have been validated, so that it is not always clear whether they give a correct assessment.
  • Are there different profiles of dyslexia? It seems unlikely that all reading problems are due to a single cause. It will be good to get a clear picture of the different profiles that are present in our sample.
  • Are some weaknesses particularly hard to overcome and, if so, is there any type of support?
  • Are some strengths particularly helpful and, if so, can these be taught?
  • Can we learn more about the processes that form the basis of reading difficulties? If so, does this allow us to develop better training?

The best reviews of our findings can be found in the two PhD theses that were written by Maaike Callens (2013) and Wim Tops (2012).

You find a summary here: Here you find the first results of our study.

Here you can see a video about dyslexia in higher education (English subtitled).

Hier kun je een video bekijken over dyslexie in het hoger onderwijs.

En hier is een bijbehorende brochure die wat meer uitleg geeft.

Voor een Nederlandse inleiding tot onze eerste bevindingen, kijk hier.

Voor wie meer wil weten over wat er in de hersenen gebeurt tijdens lezen, kunnen we deze site aanbevelen.

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