It doesn’t replace early identification, remediation, and support, but reading at home supported the long term reading success of children with a positive family history of dyslexia.

The study is interesting one because it followed children for 13 years! The youngest children were age 2, and by the conclusion of the study, the oldest were 23. Researchers compared various reading and language skills as well as conducting detailed interviews of family practices.

What was interesting is that early shared reading with family members (from the age of 2) was associated with the development of strong vocabulary. Strong vocabulary in turn had positive protective effect on reading comprehension in adolescence.

Another finding was that reading vocabulary and reading fluency at 8 years among students of dyslexic families – predicted strong reading comprehension by the age of 15. Vocabulary alone at age 8 wasn’t sufficient to predict good reading comprehension; presumably if reading is effortful and dysfluent, it places a negative toll on reading later.

“…continued shared reading until the age of 8 years was found to support reading comprehension only in the familial risk for dyslexia group, suggesting it was a protective factor…” – Torppa et al. 2022

Families that engaged in literacy activities (identifying words, letters) at home had stronger literacy skills. In addition, beneficial effects were noted on reading fluency and comprehension.

The big picture from this study is that families can have a long-term beneficial effects on their children’s reading development.

“…teaching literacy at home predicted stronger emerging literacy skills, whereas shared book reading predicted vocabulary development and reading motivation. Both emerging literacy and vocabulary predicted reading development.

Familial risk for dyslexia was a significant moderator regarding several paths; vocabulary, reading fluency, and shared reading were stronger predictors of reading comprehension among children with familial risk for dyslexia, whereas reading motivation was a stronger predictor of reading comprehension among adolescents with no familial risk.”

Or another way to think about that is that reading motivation alone will probably not be enough to help dyslexic teens to be successful in reading comprehension. What you do matters – whether its reading together or supporting students as they learn to read.

* If you’re a parent with dyslexia yourself and reading aloud is difficult, you can still read along silently while listening to an audiobook and help your child.


Dyslexia | Dyslexic Advantage