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August 1967

Predicting Reading Failure: A Preliminary Study of Reading, Writing, and Spelling Disabilities in Preschool Children.

Am J Dis Child. 1967;114(2):221-222. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1967.02090230151038

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


The basic knowledge for predicting reading failure was laid down more than 30 years ago. One limitation in applying this knowledge has been a disagreement over who should use it. Properly the province of the schools, educators have been slow to use it, and physicians, often lacking the necessary information, have not known how to predict failure. Furthermore, both schools and knowledgeable physicians have been reluctant to apply incomplete data in the clinical setting. But the fact that knowledge about language disability is incomplete does not mean that the information now in hand cannot or should not be used. This book shows how to do it.

This is a book about prediction. Mrs. de Hirsch and her coauthors begin by describing the tools used, which are a series of tests given to fifty children as they went through kindergarten, first, and second grade. They show clearly in this preliminary study

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