Italian journal of clinical and applicational research

Scientific Committee: Giacomo Stella e Enrico Savelli
Periodicity: january, may, october

Vol. 14, n. 2, 2017

Table of Contents

Giacomo Stella Enrico Savelli


Orientamenti della ricerca

Chiara Straccamore Elisabetta Morelli Cesare Cornoldi

How spelling and handwriting abilities contribute to the quality of written texts in adolescents

DOI: 10.14605/DIS1421701

It has been suggested that, although apparently independent, the three aspects of writing (handwriting, spelling and written production) are interrelated; in particular, a young child who does not write fluently and spell correctly produces a lower quality text. This aspect, however, had not been systematically investigated in adolescence, until now. The study, examining the data collected for the standardisation of the MT Avanzate-3 Battery of 3,122 students attending the first two years of Upper Secondary School, addresses the issue of the relationship between the different components of the writing process. Through correlation and regression analysis, we found that spelling variables contribute significantly — although not widely — to the quality of written production and we found a correlation between the quality of the text and the quality of handwriting in text production, whereas the contribution of handwriting speed is minimal. Lastly, this paper proposes a new «Lexical Spelling Correctness» index, obtained by subtracting the number of mistakes made in the dictation of non-words to the errors in the dictation of words. The index is correlated with the quality of text production.

Orientamenti della ricerca

Valerio Corsi Barbara Bacocco Francesca D’Antonis Alessandra Onofri Francesca Tonelli Gloria Cannici Giorgia Millucci Federica Terrinoni

Learning Disorders and educational well-being. Pilot survey on the educational well-being of children with learning disorders in two primary schools in Rome

DOI: 10.14605/DIS1421702

The article presents the results of a survey that had the dual aim of identifying the incidence of pupils with either a certified or unrecognised Learning Disorder (LD) and checking the educational well-being of children with a Learning Disorder in three primary schools in Rome. The study regarding the incidence of the LD phenomenon within schools involved 472 boys and girls, and 226 boys and girls (within the sample of 472) were involved in the study regarding the detection of levels of educational well-being. Through screening for the recognition of Learning Disorders and a subsequent diagnostic assessment, we detected that the incidence of children with an LD was 9.7%, with a rate of about 2% of whom had not been previously recognised as having an LD before this study. Afterwards, with the aim of obtaining information related to the pupils’ perceived educational well-being, 226 children from two of the three primary schools that participated in the study were given a questionnaire on educational well-being (Antonova, Chumakova & Stanzione, 2016), which highlighted some uncomfortable situations experienced by children with an LD. The results show in general a good level of educational well-being but, in particular, in one of the two schools belonging to the institute, there was a significant difference between how children with an LD feel at school compared to those with «typical development». Children with an LD show greater levels of evaluation anxiety, non-specific anxiety and exclusion anxiety.

Clinical experience shows that for most children with a Specific Learning Disorder it is sufficient to receive a clear diagnosis accompanied by an adequate explanation of the disorder and the methods for bypassing the problem. Sometimes, however, the presence of a learning disorder may be a condition that is accompanied by great emotional pain in childhood and thus, may determine a pathological deviation of development, especially if other vulnerabilities in the history of the subject coexist (Luci & Ruggerini, 2010). In other cases, as a result of the diagnosis, children have to undergo speech therapy and/or rehabilitation programmes, which require a lot of effort, and this may contribute to a further increase in discomfort, especially if treatment goals are not shared and if motivational aspects are not taken into consideration. In cases with older children (at secondary school) or with more severe disorders, the problem can be bypassed using compensatory tools (Shavelson, Hubner & Stanton, 1976). In all these cases, certain techniques borrowed from the cognitive behavioural approach may be useful. This paper aims to provide some examples of applying them in the SLD area.

strumenti applicativi

Antonio Giardi

iTunesU and the «USiena» model: A new prospect for mobile learning for students with dyslexia?

DOI: 10.14605/DIS1421704

The aim of this paper is to focus the reader’s attention on the «mobile» use of iTunesU and the «USiena» model, as future compensatory tools. Starting from multimedia learning theories, a mobile course model was designed (the «USiena» model) and an experimental method was used to carry out a «pilot study» with 32 dyslexic students. The goal of the experimentation was to investigate how iTunesU, associated with the «USiena» model, influences learning. The experimental hypothesis was that the proposed design solution would favour content transmission compared to the «talking book» (similar to a model defined in the article as «Audio Only»), improving learning and thus (iTunesU and the «USiena» model) proving a potential compensatory tool for the future. Two video contents were produced (with the «USiena» model) and two audio contents were recorded, then the level of learning was compared («USiena» vs. «Audio Only»). The obtained results confirmed the experimental hypothesis.

The research presented here has developed from three surveys conducted in 2015, one of which in collaboration with AIRIPA, to highlight the services offered to students with Specific Learning Disorders by Universities and AFAM institutions (Art, Music, and Dance) of the Veneto Region and the knowledge and awareness of students with Specific Learning Disorders of diagnosis certification, functioning profile, and current legislation. The answers to the three questionnaires can provide insights for improving, if necessary changing, and giving more visibility to the activities promoted by the university system in order to guarantee access to education to students with Specific Learning Disorders.

The aim of this paper is to undertake a careful consideration of workers’ opinions of didactic-pedagogical procedures for workers with a responsibility in the areas of education and effective SLD prevention for children in primary education. The project analysed in the study was carried out over an extensive area in Emilia-Romagna, a region in Northern Italy. Furthermore, the study aims to illustrate the objectives and methodologies used in the SLD project. The overarching goal being to create a «communicative strategic alliance» that could produce a network among those relevant agents involved in the district for promoting the exchange of knowledge and expertise. An analysis of the objectives and methodology used in the project «Training for a correct approach to reading and writing in year one: inclusive didactics for SLD», produced by speech therapists from the National Health Service and primary teachers, is provided. We highlighted the opportunity for teachers to receive training on recent scientific research into SLD, supported by experts from the health services. Furthermore, the project was evaluated, through the use of an assessment questionnaire, which will be used to provide future potential developments for cooperation between schools and specialised health workers. Following analysis of the results, certain specific considerations made by national health operators of the Reggio Emilia Neuropsychiatry Department, working in the Montecchio Emilia District, and by teaching coordinators for special educational needs can be identified. In conclusion, what has been produced is a reflective analysis of the significance of working as part of a network for SLD.


Stefano Calzolari Giulia Fronza

Eventi e notizie dall’Italia


Cristiano Termine

Una finestra sull’Europa