Robin van Rijthoven

78 Chapter 4 Abstract We examined the response to a phonics through spelling intervention in 52 children with dyslexia by analyzing their phonological, morphological, and orthographic spelling errors both before and after the intervention and additionally, their spelling errors before the intervention were compared with those of 105 typically developing spellers. A possible compensatory role of semantic abilities on the intervention effects was also investigated. Results showed that before the intervention, children with dyslexia and the typically developing children both mostly made morphological errors, followed by orthographic and phonological errors. Within each category, children with dyslexia made more errors than the typically developing children, with differences being largest for phonological errors. Children with dyslexia with better developed semantic representations turned out to make fewer phonological, morphological, and orthographic errors compared with children with dyslexia with less developed semantic representations. The intervention for children with dyslexia led to a reduction of all error types, mostly of the orthographic errors. In addition, semantic abilities was related to the decline in phonological, morphological, and orthographic spelling errors. This study implicates that semantic stimulation could benefit the spelling development of children at risk for or with dyslexia.