Cerebellar tests differentiate between groups of poor readers with and without IQ discrepancy

Angela J. Fawcett*, Roderick I. Nicolson, Fiona Maclagan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


A comprehensive test battery, including phonological, speed, motor and cerebellar tasks, was administered to the entire cohort of two schools for children with learning disabilities. Testing was undertaken blind without accessing the psychometric data on the children. Children were then allocated to a discrepancy group on the basis of their IQ, with the majority (n = 29) classified as nondiscrepant (IQ < 90) and a smaller set (n = 7), with IQ of at least 90, classified as discrepant (with dyslexia). Both groups showed significant deficits relative to age-matched controls on almost all the tests. On phonological, speed, and motor tasks, the nondiscrepant group were at least as severely impaired as the discrepant group. By contrast, on the cerebellar tests of postural stability and muscle tone, the nondiscrepant group performed significantly better than the children with dyslexia and close to the level of the controls. The findings indicate that cerebellar tests may prove a valuable method of differentiating between poor readers with and without IQ discrepancy. The findings are interpreted in terms of the cerebellar deficit hypothesis for dyslexia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-135
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Learning Disabilities
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2001


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