Robin van Rijthoven

83 Role of semantics in a phonics through spelling intervention 4 (b) What is the role of semantic abilities in predicting the phonological and orthographic spelling of children with dyslexia? 2. (a) To what extent can phonological and orthographic spelling abilities of children with dyslexia be trained through a phonics through spelling intervention? (b) What is the role of semantic abilities in predicting the development of phonological and orthographic spelling in children with dyslexia due to a phonics through spelling intervention? Regarding the first research question, firstly, we expected children with dyslexia to make more but not proportionally different errors. Second, we expected orthographic spelling to be more difficult than phonological spelling for both children with dyslexia and typically developing children. Third, we expected semantic abilities to be a compensatory factor for children with dyslexia across error types. Regarding the second research question, we expected a decline in the number of errors in all categories with no relative differences between the proportion of errors due to the intervention. Furthermore, we expected a decline in the number of errors across the three types to be predicted by the children’s level of semantic abilities. Method Participants Participantswerechildrendiagnosedwithdyslexia (34boys, 18girls) andtypicallydeveloping children (52 boys, 53 girls). All participants spoke Dutch as their primary language and all parents gave active consent to use the collected data for research purposes. The children with dyslexia were diagnosed between 2009 and 2013 following the protocol by Blomert (2006), which is in line with the definition of dyslexia of the International Dyslexia Association (2002). The Dutch protocol for diagnosis of dyslexia (Blomert, 2006) states that teachers have to prove persistent reading problems (resistance to treatment) and severity (weak performances on word reading and spelling during one and a half school years). In the subsequent diagnosis, a phonological deficit needs to be evidenced and other explanations of reading or spelling problems excluded by a certified clinical psychologist. After formally being diagnosed with dyslexia, children received an in-service phonic through spelling intervention in a clinic for assessment and intervention for children with learning difficulties. The mean age of this group of children at the start of the assessment was 8.97 years (SD = .94). Children were in grade 2 (n = 17), grade 3 (n = 23), grade 4 (n = 9), grade 5 (n = 2), and grade 6 (n = 1). All children had semantic abilities within the normal range both in total scores (M = 108.35, SD = 12.18) and standardized subtest