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Comprehensive Program to Improve Reading and Writing Skills in At-Risk and Dyslexic Children

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00061412
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : May 28, 2003
Last Update Posted : September 28, 2006
Information provided by:
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

Brief Summary:
This project is evaluating programs to improve reading and writing skills in children who have or are at risk for having reading disabilities. The project focuses on children who are at-risk for low achievement in school and on children with dyslexia.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Dyslexia Learning Disorders Behavioral: Comprehensive program to improve reading and writing skills Not Applicable

Detailed Description:

This study is part of a larger project to investigate the biological and educational constraints operating in children with learning disabilities, with a focus on treatment and links between assessment and treatment. The project evaluates prevention and treatment of reading and writing disabilities, the genetic contribution to subtypes of dyslexia, the relationship between brain variables and dyslexia, and the brain's response to treatment for dyslexia. Genetic and brain imaging studies occur throughout the project.

During Year 1, at-risk readers in first grade were targeted for an intervention for mapping spoken words onto written words. These students were compared to a control group. During Year 2, the faster responders (those who reached grade level) and the slower responders (those who were not yet at grade level) from Year 1 were compared. Slower responders received additional treatment and comparisons were made again at the end of the year. The additional treatment was also studied in Spanish-speaking students in first grade. During Year 3, another group of at-risk, poor readers in second grade were randomized to either word decoding treatment, comprehension treatment, a combined word decoding and comprehension treatment, or a control treatment.

During Year 4, readers at risk for failing state standards in reading (decoding) participated in an extended day program providing comprehensive reading instruction. The students were compared to a control group. During Year 5, all students grades 4 to 9 took a battery of morphological, reading, and writing tests. The testing was administered throughout an entire school system.

During Year 6, older students with dyslexia were randomly assigned to phonological or morphological reading training. Students were then compared on pre- and post-test behavioral measures and brain activation results. During Year 7, students with dyslexia were randomly assigned to an orthographic or morphological treatment for spelling. Students underwent brain imaging before and after the intervention. Behavioral and brain activation measures were also assessed. During Year 8, students with dyslexia underwent attention or fluency training and writing training with and without attentional bridges. Only behavioral measures were collected.

Recruitment of families for the family genetics study is ongoing. Recruitment for the brain imaging-treatment studies will begin in 2004 when installation of new brain imaging equipment is complete.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Enrollment : 2500 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Factorial Assignment
Masking: Single
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Learning Disabilities: Links to Schools and Biology
Study Start Date : December 1995
Study Completion Date : November 2005

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   6 Years and older   (Child, Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria

  • Student in grades 1 to 9
  • Underachieving in reading and writing
  • English as first language

Exclusion Criteria

  • Mental retardation
  • Developmental disability such as autism or pervasive developmental disorder
  • Brain damage or disease affecting brain function
  • Severe language or psychiatric disorder

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00061412

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United States, Washington
University of Washington
Seattle, Washington, United States
Sponsors and Collaborators
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
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Principal Investigator: Virginia Berninger, Ph.D. University of Washington
Additional Information:
Layout table for additonal information Identifier: NCT00061412    
Other Study ID Numbers: 2P50HD33812-6
First Posted: May 28, 2003    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: September 28, 2006
Last Verified: September 2006
Keywords provided by Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD):
Low reading and writing achievement
At-risk students
Reading Disability
Writing Disability
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Learning Disorders
Language Disorders
Communication Disorders
Neurobehavioral Manifestations
Neurologic Manifestations
Nervous System Diseases
Signs and Symptoms
Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Mental Disorders