In utero RNAi of the dyslexia-associated gene Kiaa0319 in rats (KIA-) degrades cortical responses to speech sounds and increases trial-by-trial variability in onset latency. We tested the hypothesis that KIA- rats would be impaired at speech sound discrimination. KIA- rats needed twice as much training in quiet conditions to perform at control levels and remained impaired at several speech tasks. Focused training using truncated speech sounds was able to normalize speech discrimination in quiet and background noise conditions. Training also normalized trial-by-trial neural variability and temporal phase locking. Cortical activity from speech trained KIA- rats was sufficient to accurately discriminate between similar consonant sounds. These results provide the first direct evidence that assumed reduced expression of the dyslexia-associated gene KIAA0319 can cause phoneme processing impairments similar to those seen in dyslexia and that intensive behavioral therapy can eliminate these impairments.