The role of semantic knowledge in relearning spellings: Evidence from deep dysgraphia
Kumar VP., Humphreys G.
Background: Remediation techniques for dysgraphia have focused on targeting different components of the theoretical models for spelling. Studies have revealed that targeting lexically oriented strategies can prove beneficial for patients with deep dysgraphia. Studies on short-term memory have also demonstrated a role of semantic knowledge in short-term retention. Aims: Two variants of lexically oriented strategies were applied to remediate a deep dysgraphic patient, PH, and the role of imagery in supporting the learning was examined. Methods & Procedures: Retraining was explored using a visual-kinaesthetic learning technique, contrasting performance with high- and low-imagery words. Outcomes & Results: Positive effects of learning were demonstrated. There was effective initial learning of blocks of both high-imagery and low-imagery target words, but high-imagery words had a clear advantage in terms of longer-term maintenance. Conclusions: The data demonstrate that semantic knowledge may play a role in strengthening graphemic representations of words, helping in the maintenance of the orthography of target words over time.