Robin van Rijthoven

32 Chapter 2 Abstract The present study explored the direct and indirect contribution of semantic abilities to the levels of phonological and orthographic abilities in children with dyslexia. The semantic abilities of fifty‐five 9‐year‐old Dutch children diagnosed with dyslexia were associated with their phonological abilities (phonological awareness, rapid naming, and verbal workingmemory) and their word decoding and pseudoword decoding efficiency scores. It was found that children’s semantic abilities predicted both word decoding efficiency and pseudoword decoding efficiency indirectly via phonological awareness and rapid naming. These results can be explained in terms of a lexical restructuring account of early reading development; strong semantic abilities provide children with dyslexia with a boost to strengthen their phonological skills and naming skills, which indirectly facilitates their reading development.