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June 07 , 2008

A Longitudinal Study of Dyslexia

Bergen’s Multivariate Study of Children’s Learning Disabilities


Psychological and educational researchers in the Scandinavian countries have cooperated in a research effort relating to children's learning disabilities for more than a decade. Support has come from the federal governments and other funding agencies in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark through the Secretariat for Scan­ dinavian Cultural Cooperation. A number of independent studies have already been published, dealing with various aspects oflearning disabilities in the literacy skills of reading and writing. The largest and most comprehensive study was the Bergen Project, a longitudi­ nal study of an entire cohort of children, with special emphasis on those who developed specific learning disabilities in reading and writing (dyslexia). These dyslexic children were studied, diagnosed, and treated over a period of nine years, along with various control and comparison groups, which included a large subgroup with general learning disabilities (retarded). The Bergen Project involved the collection of voluminous data. The children were identified by means of special diagnostic tests and treated using remedial materials and techniques that had been developed to deal with various types of dyslexia. The ophthalmology team not only tested the children, but they also prescribed and provided glasses, and even performed surgery when necessary. The pediatric neurologists did general pediatric and neurological examinations, following up many of the cases with EEGs and CT (computerized tomography, brain x-rays).
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