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This paper discusses research on reading disorders during the period since their classification within the overarching category of neurodevelopmental disorders (Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 53, 2012, 593). Following a review of the predictors of learning to read across languages, and the role of language skills as critical foundations for literacy, profiles of reading disorders are discussed and putative causal risk factors at the cognitive, biological, and environmental levels of explanation considered. Reading disorders are highly heritable and highly comorbid with disorders of language, attention, and other learning disorders, notably mathematics disorders. The home literacy environment, reflecting gene-environment correlation, is one of several factors that promote reading development and highlight an important target for intervention. The multiple deficit view of dyslexia (Cognition, 101, 2006, 385) suggests that risks accumulate to a diagnostic threshold although categorical diagnoses tend to be unstable. Implications for assessment and intervention are discussed.

Original publication




Journal article


J Child Psychol Psychiatry

Publication Date



Dyslexia, comorbidity, multiple risks, reading comprehension, reading disorders