At long last the first papers of our dyslexia project have been accepted for publication. In this project we administered a battery of tests to a sample of 100 first-year higher-education students with dyslexia and 100 controls, in order to have a full profile of their strengths and weaknesses.
The basic findings are:
The students with dyslexia show a pattern of results that completely fits the traditional definition of dyslexia: equivalent fluid intelligence combined with severe deficits in word reading, spelling, and phonological processing (there are no indications that they use the assessment to compensate for a lack of other skills).
The students with dyslexia are also slightly at a disadvantage to retrieve verbal information from long term memory; this includes simple arithmetical facts (addition, multiplication, division).
Because the problems are so specific, assessment only requires three tests (word reading, word spelling, phonological awareness). This allows us to correctly predict the status of 91% of future participants.
The handwriting of students with dyslexia is not judged as more sloppy than that of controls. Their texts tend to be slightly less structured, though, and are therefore judged as less agreeable to read. This is something we think remedial teaching can help with.
Personality descriptions based on questionnaires do not differ between students with and without dyslexia.
A full description of our findings can be found in:
Callens, M., Tops, W., & Brysbaert, M. (2012). Cognitive profile of students who enter higher education with an indication of dyslexia. PLoS ONE 7(6): e38081. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0038081.
Tops, W., Callens, M., Lammertyn, J., Van Hees, V., & Brysbaert, M. (2012). Identifying students with dyslexia in higher education. Annals of dyslexia, 62(3), 186-203. pdf
Tops, W., Callens, C., Van Cauwenberghe, E., Adriaens, J., & Brysbaert, M. (2013). Beyond spelling: the writing skills of students with dyslexia in higher education. Reading and Writing, 26, 705-720. pdf
Tops W, Verguts E, Callens M, & Brysbaert M (2013) Do Students with Dyslexia Have a Different Personality Profile as Measured with the Big Five? PLoS ONE 8(5): e64484. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0064484