An experiment on cognitive remediation of word-reading difficulty

J Learn Disabil. 1995 Feb;28(2):66-79. doi: 10.1177/002221949502800201.


Cognitive remediation of decoding deficit was attempted by following a theoretically based program. The theory identifies four major cognitive processes: Planning, Attention, Simultaneous, and Successive (PASS) processing. The PASS Remedial Program (PREP) provides 10 structured tasks that are aimed at developing internalized strategies for mainly successive processes (6 tasks) and simultaneous process (4 tasks); deficits in either of the two may lead to poor decoding. Through its "global process" training and curriculum-related "bridging" training, PREP facilitates application of internalized strategies arrived at inductively for learning word decoding and spelling; it does not provide direct teaching of rules or exercises. To test the efficacy of PREP, we divided 51 children with decoding difficulties in Grade 4 into two groups: PREP (both global and bridging) and no treatment. In the second part of the study, children from the no-treatment group received either the global or the bridging part of PREP. The relative efficacy of training was tested by pre-, and posttests of performance on a standard word-decoding test (the WRMT-R), as well as on some cognitive tests (e.g., the CAS). The largest improvement in word decoding occurred for the PREP combined global and bridging treatment. The mechanism through which PREP improves word reading is discussed, as is the use of PREP for children at risk of developing dyslexia.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Dyslexia / psychology
  • Dyslexia / therapy*
  • Education, Special
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Male
  • Mental Recall
  • Remedial Teaching / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Verbal Learning*