Robin van Rijthoven

69 Response to phonics through spelling intervention 3 Conclusions and discussion The present study investigated the effect of a phonics through spelling intervention in children with dyslexia. Two research questions were addressed. The first question was about the changes in pseudoword reading, word reading, and word spelling scores in Dutch children with dyslexia after a phonics through spelling intervention. The second research question addressed whether the phonics through spelling intervention is robust to individual variation in cognitive profiles consisting of phonological awareness, rapid automatized naming, and verbal working memory in a transparent orthography. With respect to the first research question, it was found that on average children with dyslexia responded to the phonics through spelling intervention; their standardized scores (i.e., scores that were based on typically developing peers) on pseudoword reading, word reading, and word spelling significantly improved as compared to their corresponding pretest scores. The goal of the intervention was to elevate the children to a higher level of spelling and reading performances. Elevating these children from the lowest 10% group is an important step. As mentioned in the results, out of all children 49.1% were no longer among the lowest 10% for spelling. For pseudoword reading this was 26.1% and for word reading 29.6%. A substantial group of children thus remains in the lowest 10%, which highlights the resistance to treatment among children with dyslexia (e.g., Alexander & Slinger-Constant, 2004; Galuschka et al., 2014; Tilanus et al., 2019; Torgesen, 2006). However, the positive effects also show that gains can be made. This is in line with previous findings about the effectiveness of phonics interventions (e.g., Galuschka et al., 2014) and the combination of both reading and spelling in instructions among typically developing children (Conrad, 2008; Ehri &Wilce, 1987; Ellis & Cataldo, 1990), children with reading and spelling problems (Kirk & Gillon, 2009; Lovett et al., 1989, 1990; Ouellette & Sénéchal, 2008), and children diagnosed with dyslexia (Tijms, 2011; Tilanus et al., 2016). The fact that we found positive effects on both spelling and reading (word or pseudoword reading) supports the hypothesis that combining spelling and reading in one intervention is beneficial for reading and spelling development of children with dyslexia. It shows that a focus of the intervention on the bi-directional relation between orthographic and phonological representations has a positive impact on both reading and spelling development (Ouellette & Sénéchal, 2008). The positive outcomes of this phonics through spelling intervention should be evaluated against positive effects on word spelling and rather inconsistent findings of reading-focused interventions on pseudoword and word reading (Kirk & Gillon, 2009; Lovett et al., 1989, 1990; Tijms, 2011; Tilanus et al., 2016). In contrast, our study showed that a phonics through spelling intervention that devoted time equally to reading and spelling instruction has positive effects on spelling as well as on both pseudoword and word reading. It is evidenced that a combined reading and spelling instruction helps