SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.13 issue1Overcrowded classrooms - The Achilles heel of South African education?Exploring primary school teachers' use of formative assessment across fee and no-fee schools author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand



Related links

  • On index processCited by Google
  • On index processSimilars in Google


South African Journal of Childhood Education

On-line version ISSN 2223-7682
Print version ISSN 2223-7674


ALTIN, Annika; GEERTSEMA, Salome; LE ROUX, Mia  and  GRAHAM, Marien. South African professionals and developmental dyslexia: Knowledge, needs and perspectives. SAJCE [online]. 2023, vol.13, n.1, pp.1-12. ISSN 2223-7682.

BACKGROUND: Despite extensive research on the specific learning disorder (developmental dyslexia) - SLD (DD), many fallacies still cause confusion amongst professionals worldwide. These myths involve the characteristics, diagnoses and treatment of SLD (DD) and should be eradicated. AIM: The authors aimed to determine the knowledge, needs and perspectives of South African professionals working with children with SLD (DD). SETTING: A mixed-methods research design was implemented. METHODS: A survey study was carried out and a sample of 108 respondents was obtained. The respondents include speech-language therapists (SLTs), occupational therapists (OTs) and psychologists. RESULTS: Speech-language therapists and psychologists displayed better knowledge about the facts of SLD (DD), compared to OTs. Their knowledge levels were, however, not significantly affected by existing misconceptions surrounding the condition. The fallacy that SLD (DD) is caused by a visual impairment is still believed. An investigation into the professionals' perspectives regarding the identification of SLD (DD) suggested that South African psychologists were the most confident of their ability to identify characteristics. Nonetheless, all professionals reported not being convinced of their ability to provide a differential diagnosis of the disorder. Statements regarding management highlighted the uncertainties about the importance of addressing phonological awareness skills in treatment. Additional training needs were also identified as SLTs, OTs and psychologists generally feel unprepared to assess and treat SLD (DD). CONCLUSION: The differences identified amongst professional groups were related to the knowledge of the facts and characteristics of SLD (DD) and the ability to identify and manage the condition. Additional training needs should be addressed. CONTRIBUTION: The authors would like to acknowledge and thank the NRF for partially funding the publication of this article.

Keywords : Developmental dyslexia; assessment; treatment; training; specific learning disorder.

        · text in English     · English ( pdf )


Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License