Italian journal of clinical and applicational research

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

Vol. 16, n. 3, 2019

Table of Contents

Orientamenti della ricerca

Cesare Cornoldi, Anna Maria Antonucci, Laura Bertolo, Federica Brembati, Marco Frinco, Davide Giofrè, Graziella Giorgetti, Mariachiara Miliozzi, Lina Pezzuti, Elisabetta Ramanzini, Emanuela Sironi, Ernesto Stoppa, Claudio Vio, Enrico Toffalini

A summary account of the main results obtained by AIRIPA over WISC-IV protocols of more than 1,800 children with SLD. Comparing the WISC-IV profile in children with full scale IQ either above 110 or below 90

DOI: 10.14605/DIS1631901

The paper reviews the main results obtained by the multicenter project that collected WISC-IV protocols of about 2,000 children with Specific Learning Disorder (SLD). The study analysed the scores on the ten basic subtests and the derived Indexes concerning Verbal Comprehension (VCI), Perceptual Reasoning (PRI), Working Memory (WMI), Processing Speed (PSI), General Ability (GAI). The main results were the following: a) despite the four-factor structure plus a general factor may be adequate also for SLD, the loadings on g of the factors are lower; b) typically children with SLD are better in VCI and PRI than in WMI and PSI; c) and the discrepancy can be used for diagnosis; d) GAI seems more appropriate than full scale IQ for describing the intelligence of children with SLD; e) giftedness is less present in SLD than in typical children if full scale IQ is considered, but the opposite is true if GAI is considered; f) in reading disorder the weakness in digit span is greater in the case of forward span than in the case of backward span g) the most frequent diagnoses are mixed SLD and reading disorder, but also diagnoses of writing and calculation disorders are present; h) these diagnoses are characterised but many overlaps but also some differentiations in the WISC profile; i) a profile with low PRI and high VCI is present, but the presence of an opposite profile (low VCI and high PRI) is more frequent than the other and than the same profile in typical population; j) in the debate between one-factor and bifactor solutions the latter seem better in the case of SLD. The present study also offers new data comparing the WISC-IV profile in children with full scale IQ either clearly above average or below average. It appears that in the latter the discrepancy between GAI and processual indexes is less evident.

Orientamenti della ricerca

Francesca Grotta, Maria Cristina Ielmoni, Simona Miano, Giada Nidoli

Measuring fluency of silent and aloud reading. A study on 3rd, 4th and 5th year of primary school

DOI: 10.14605/DIS1631902

This paper has different aims: firstly to measure fluency of silent reading (SRF) and oral reading (ORF), secondly to verify when SRF becomes faster than ORF. Finally this study analysis SRF and ORF in different types of reading tasks (sentence, pseudo sentence and a vertical list of words). The sample consists of 174 children attending 3rd, 4th and 5th classes of primary school: all children are native speaking Italian and without diagnosis. The children read on pc all three types of text both silently and orally. Results show that SRF and ORF change through different classes and types of text, particularly sentence reading is faster in both oral and silent reading. All results will be presented and discussed inside the paper.

Orientamenti della ricerca

Giacomo Stella, Giulia Nicoletti, Immacolata Squicciarini

Reading rehabilitation based on scientific evidence. From sublexical to lexical treatment

DOI: 10.14605/DIS1631903

The rehabilitation proposal, based on scientific evidence, deals with integrating and giving an adequate follow-up to the various rehabilitation models on reading. It is a simple material of immediate use and adjustable, based on the reading skills of the child to whom it will be submitted. It can be used as a development exercise in the first reading phase, as well as a real rehabilitation treatment. The material is built on the concepts of gradualness based on the linguistic factors that influence reading ability: frequency of use, level of imagination, word length and spelling complexity. The gradual objectives of the operative proposal allow to facilitate the passage from reading letter by letter to lexical reading within sentences and passages, thus passing from a sublexical treatment (focused on deciphering accuracy) to a lexical treatment (focused on integrating lexicon in the reading process). These phases are monitored by a rehabilitative orientation test. The final phase enhances accuracy and speed of reading and focuses on the semantic-conceptual part, with the identification of words and a faster access to lexicon in sentences and pieces. To support this work, a part was added in which the child exploits and trains specific attention features while reading (i.e. the preview effect), working on focusing his attention and managing distracting elements. The first results of this rehabilitation proposal show clinically and statistically significant improvements, as they not only overcome the spontaneous evolution but are quantitatively larger than the control group. 

Orientamenti della ricerca

Concetta Pirrone, Rio Bianchini, Sergio Messina, Francisca Serrano Chica, Antonio Rodriguez Fuentes, Linda Zuppardo

Evaluation of the emotional and behavioral consequences in Specific Learning Difficulties. Implications for intervention

DOI: 10.14605/DIS1631904

Dyslexia should be considered as a global condition, including neural and cognitive factors, plus behavioral and emotional aspects. Some cases of dyslexia report negative effects beyond the well-known slow and inaccurate reading, low reading fluency and decoding and orthographic deficits. These called «secondary» effects are related with emotional and behavioral problems and may come as the result of repeated problems in school development. This study focus in the emotional and behavioral features of students with dyslexia, compared to students without learning disabilities. Fifty students (aged 8 to 18) were tested with TMA, CBCL and MASC, testing their emotional-behavioral profile. Twenty-five participants with dyslexia and another 25 participants matched in age and academic level, but without any learning problems, were tested. Low self-esteem level, not only in academic area, but all the others tested was found in participants with dyslexia. Additionally, they also showed higher levels of social anxiety and behavioral problems. These findings support the relevance of studying behavioral and emotional variables in dyslexia. The study concludes with the convenience of considering the need for an intervention program that could focus on both emotional and literacy problems in dyslexia, aiming for improving students’ school performance and overall wellness.

Strumenti applicativi

Giovanni Bilancia, Davide Filippi, Giulia Fronza, Gloria Imperato, Francesco Meucci, Giulia Orlandini

Proposal of a tool to evaluate cognitive prerequisites of literacy in pre-school children

DOI: 10.14605/DIS1631905

The present research tries to explore the symbolic and conceptual prerequisites (assumption) of literacy in pre-school children. This study follows up a research term (Stella and Stradi, 1991) aimed at verifying the evolution of the skills of conceptualization and symbolization in relation to reading and writing abilities. The models of the development of thought (Vygotskij, 1934; Piaget, 1936; Pascual-Leone, 1976), symbol (Bialystok, 1992, Ferreiro and Teberosky, 1979; Ferreiro, 2003; Donald, 1991; Karmiloff-Smith, 1992) and language (Clark, 1974; Rosch, 1976; Markmann, 1991) were examined to create a lot of tasks. The first study used a paper mode and involved 86 children aged between 36 and 76 months. In the second one, 165 children aged between 29 and 76 months were asked to use a digital instrument. In both researches, the participants are native Italian speakers without any clinical diagnosis. This test is composed by activities that require a readability judgment, length of auditory stimuli (words and non-words) and discrimination between meaning and signifier. Moreover, the identification of visual and auditory symbols and the identification of typical abilities of pre-operative thought were key aspects of the tests. Our data contribute to the analysis of symbol conceptualization, typical of the pre-conventional period of reading and writing skills. Further researches are needed, such as monitoring the progress of the tests with children in following stages of literacy (school age), in addition to the analysis of the instrument functionality with subjects characterized by clinical diagnosis.


Luisa Lopez*

Rassegna internazionale


Stefano Calzolari, Giulia Fronza*

Eventi e notizie dall’Italia