Leave more space between letters significantly improves the speed and reading ability of dyslexic children, according to a study published inPNAS.
The team of Marco Zorzi, University of Padua (Italy) has studied 54 French children and 40 Italian dyslexics from 8 and 14 age the effectspaced pointsin their ability to read.
The children had to read a text 24 short phrases, both with a standard spacing between characters or greater. The results revealed that increasing the space between charactersimproved precision and the reading speed by more than 20%, to about 0,3 syllables per second.
People with dyslexia undergo a process known as 'crowding', a phenomenon that has serious difficulties to identify a letter when surrounded by other characters, instead of present single. The "overcrowding"prevents the recognition of the letters, which is the first step toward reading in all languages.
The researchers found that putting extra space between letters benefits children more difficult to identify letters. Also, to have done work in French and Italian dyslexic children reinforces the idea that increasing the space between letters affects identification, a process that appears to beidentical in all languages.
According to the authors of the paper, this remedy offers asimple and efficientto improve reading performance in children with dyslexia and could encourage dyslexic children to read, a key challenge for the recovery.