Executive functioning in adults with dyslexia
While developmental dyslexia is characterised typically by problems with reading and spelling, difficulties in other areas of cognition have also been found. Executive functioning is one such area. Deficits are well documented in children with dyslexia. There is also evidence showing that these executive functioning problems persist into adulthood and, consequently, can have implications for success in education and employment. In this seminar, laboratory evidence from a range of studies conducted by the author will be considered, together with research exploring the day-to-day impact of dyslexia on executive functioning. Beginning with the role of executive processes in visuospatial working memory, the author will present evidence for executive functioning deficits in adults with dyslexia across discrete executive functions (updating, set shifting, inhibition, and verbal fluency). Self-report evidence relating to typical, everyday executive functioning will also be considered. The nature of the results presents challenges to dyslexia theory to explain, particularly where executive functioning deficits have been found on tasks which have minimal phonological processing requirements. The results from the author’s studies will thus be related to dyslexia theory and, more particularly, the proposition that there is a Supervisory Attentional System deficit in dyslexia.