Authors: Victor Martinelli, Deidre Fenech.

Article: Dyslexia and Enhanced Visuospatial Ability: A Maltese Study.

Publication: Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies (MCSER Publishing, Rome-Italy). Vol 6, No 1, pp 103-113 2017 | DOI: 10.5901/ajis.2017.v6n1p103

The aim of this study was to explore the issue of adolescent learners with dyslexia and their visuospatial ability. There is a substantial body of findings in educational and psychological literature suggesting that individuals with dyslexia are likely to have high levels of visuospatial ability. A group of 38 thirteen-year-old male and female bilingual (Maltese and English) students who were ethnically Maltese and clinically registered as having dyslexia, participated in this study. They were recruited from secondary schools from a number of regions on the island of Malta and were considered to be representative of the wider population of similarly affected peers of their age. The research group was matched for age, sex, ethnicity and ability with another group of 38 peers who were average readers in English and who came from the same classes as the research
group. Both groups completed a Maltese standardised English reading comprehension test to confirm their status as weak and competent readers respectively. They then completed a published paper-and-pencil test of visuospatial reasoning and an interactive, computer-based virtual reality test based on a similar test described in published literature (Bungalow Test). In general, males tended to outperform females but this was only statistically significant in one of the many measures they completed. No consistent and statistically significant differences were evident between the groups on the wide array of visuospatial measures administered. The findings suggest that in the groups studied, adolescent learners with dyslexia possessed similar visuospatial skills as their average peers.

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