Research Journal

APJDD Vol 7 No 2 (July 2020)

1. Editorial Comment

Angela J. Fawcett, Editor-in-Chief

It is a very great pleasure to publish the 14th issue of the Asia Pacific Journal of Developmental Differences, now in its 7th year of publication, which is published by the Dyslexia Association of Singapore. The response to the previous issues continues to be extremely gratifying, and we intend to maintain these high standards in this issue and forthcoming issues. We have now amassed an even stronger editorial board, including the most recent member to join, Helen Boden, CEO of the British Dyslexia Association who has been invited for her outstanding reputation internationally. We are delighted to welcome Helen who will undoubtedly enrich our editorial board further. We are grateful for the support of the academics and professionals involved in resolving any issues arising, and ensuring our journal maintains high professional and ethical standards.

The six articles featured in the current issue represent material drawn from a wide cultural background across Asia and beyond, with contributions from Singapore, UK, Japan, Thailand, and China. We are particularly grateful to those contributors who have managed to revise their contributions despite the constraints of the current lockdowns internationally in response to the pandemic. We look forward to publishing further contributions from India when libraries re-open, enabling further articles to be successfully revised. Topics for the current issue cover a broad range, from two articles on adult entrepreneurs with dyslexia to screening diagnosis and intervention for school-age children with dyslexia.

2. Entrepreneurs with Dyslexia in Singapore: The Incidence, Their Educational Experiences, and Their Unique Attributes

Deborah G. Hewes

Dyslexia Association of Singapore

The incidence of dyslexia in the Singaporean entrepreneurial population is unknown. This study compares Singaporean Entrepreneurs who have dyslexia and those who do not have dyslexia. This research examines the educational experiences and personal attributes of Singaporean Entrepreneurs to identify the differences between those with dyslexia and those who are not dyslexic. A survey was conducted over a 12-month period and the data revealed that the incidence of dyslexia in the Singapore entrepreneurial population was 26%, this is more than 2.5 times that dyslexia would be found in the general population. The educational experiences of dyslexic entrepreneurs were significantly negative for primary and secondary education, however, in tertiary education, their educational experiences were significantly positive. Dyslexic entrepreneurs indicated two of the major factors why they were inspired to start their own business, these were to have ‘control’ over their lives, time, and success and the other was because of their ‘dyslexia’. Singapore entrepreneurial traits were explored and there is a tendency for Singaporeans to answer positively yet dyslexic entrepreneurs scored significantly less in empathy, interpersonal skills, public speaking, and memory ability compared to their non-dyslexic peers. Two attributes where dyslexic entrepreneurs scored significantly higher were visual thinking and visual-spatial ability. The findings from this research can be used to support the development of policies and support for Dyslexic Entrepreneurs in Singapore.

Keywords: dyslexia, entrepreneurship, education, positive dyslexia, specific learning differences, visual thinking, visual-spatial ability.

3. Characteristics of entrepreneurs who experience dyslexia: an interview study on the role of school in supporting an entrepreneurial mindset

Margaret Meehan 1*, Angela J Fawcett1, Paul Adkins2 & Barbara Pavey3

  1. Swansea University
  2. Harper Adams
  3. Independent Consultant


In this study, 17 students who experience dyslexia, and were engaged in a business studies course at degree level or above were recruited from two universities to participate in this semi-structured interview study on entrepreneurship. The four questions addressed included their strengths and characteristics, the obstacles they anticipated, and what further skills they needed to fulfil their aspirations.  The results suggested that these students shared many of the characteristics of entrepreneurs who experience dyslexia noted in the literature, including determination, communication, people skills, and the capacity for risk-taking. Moreover, that obstacles to their success related primarily to their lowered confidence in the face of failure. The comments indicated that these students were realistic about their ongoing needs to fulfil their business aspirations and saw a stronger role for school at all stages in preparing students for an entrepreneurial future. Practical aspects and group projects, rather than a purely theoretical approach in education, were highlighted as key here, enriched with relevant experience of both successful and unsuccessful entrepreneurs, to endow this group with the knowledge that failure could be an important tool in learning throughout education and working life.

4. Word Sound Retrieval Abilities in Japanese Children With Developmental Dyslexia - Report Based on the Use of Picture Naming Tasks in Discrete Condition

Takashi Gotoh 1, 2*, Akira Uno 2, 3 and Noriko Haruhara 1, 2

  1. Faculty of Health Sciences, Mejiro University, Japan
  2. LD/Dyslexia Centre, Japan
  3. Faculty of Human Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Japan


Developmental dyslexia (DD) is assumed to be partially caused by word sound retrieval difficulty. We analyzed the word sound retrieval abilities in Japanese children with DD with and without developmental language disorder (DLD) using picture naming tasks in discrete conditions. The participants in this study were 28 children with DD (9 with and 19 without DLD) and 18 children with typical development from third to eighth grades. All groups were matched for chronological age. We evaluated the number of correct responses and reaction time of picture naming tasks using 10 colours and 100 objects. Picture naming stimuli were selected from the Test of Lexical Processing in Aphasia (TLPA), Standard Language Test of Aphasia (SLTA) and Supplementary Tests for Standard Language Test of Aphasia (SLTA-ST). Children with DD and DLD showed lower scores in the object naming task than those in children with typical development and with DD alone (p<.000). Children with only DD manifested scores in the normal range. Our results suggest that picture naming connects with spoken language development. Japanese children with DD without DLD have no problem in word sound retrieval abilities in discrete conditions.

Keywords:           developmental dyslexia, developmental language disorder, picture naming task, vocabulary

5. Evaluating the effectiveness of intervention in Chinese for dyslexics and struggling learners

Evaluating the effectiveness of intervention in Chinese for dyslexics and struggling learners

Kong Yun Rui1*, Sha Lan1, See Lay Yen1, Kwan Cailyn1 and Li Dong1

1. Dyslexia Association of Singapore



In this article, an intervention for Chinese literacy designed for dyslexic children was applied to a group of dyslexic children, struggling learners, while a group of dyslexic children who served as controls, received alternative support for their difficulties in Chinese. Interestingly, the results showed that the controls made little or no progress, but both groups undertaking the intervention showed improvement. Moreover, the struggling learners made more significant improvements than the dyslexic intervention group in character reading and word forming, suggesting that their problems may be less entrenched than the dyslexics, and they would benefit from ongoing support using this structured multisensory approach. Results were supported by qualitative feedback from parents, learners and educational therapists.

Keywords:           Dyslexia, Chinese, Quantitative, Qualitative, Struggling learners.

6. Using Kidarn Application to Assess Thai Early Reading Skills: Evaluating Validity and Reliability

Using Kidarn Application to Assess Thai Early Reading Skills: Evaluating Validity and Reliability

Issarapa Chunsuwan1*, Nichara Ruangdaraganon2, Kanokporn Vibulpatanavong3, Supiya Charoensiriwath4 &  Apatha Peethong4

  1. Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Thammasat University, Thailand
  2. Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Thailand
  3. Faculty of Education, Srinakharinwirot University, Bangkok, Thailand
  4. National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre, Thailand


Early reading skills assessment can detect children at risk of reading disorders. Kidarn is a child-friendly application designed to help clinicians and teachers conveniently and quickly assess young children’s reading skills in Thai. It consists of five subtests: letter-sound matching, phonological awareness, rapid automatized naming, blending, and segmenting. We evaluated Kidarn’s validity and reliability for use with grade 1 students. Content validity analysis by experts revealed the overall scale content validity (S-CVI) as good (S-CVI/UA = 0.92); scale validity at 0.88, 0.80, 0.73, 0.95 and 0.98 for Subtests 1 to 5, respectively, was also good. Test-retest reliability displayed each subtest’s intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) to be between 0.6-0.85: within an acceptable range.  Spearman’s correlation and total reading scores revealed r = 0.35, 0.59, -0.45, 0.61, and 0.60 for Subtests 1-5, respectively. In conclusion, Kidarn was found to be an acceptable validated instrument for early reading skill screening in Thai. With its minimal evaluator workload, it shows promise for use in the Thai education system.

Keywords:           reading disorder, screening, Thai, application, Kidarn

7. A Multi-Dimensional Service System for Children with Dyslexia Based on Family Education

Wang Lei1* and Liang Yueyi2

  1. Shenzhen Sparkling Education
  2. Shenzhen Weining Dyslexia Education Center


Children with dyslexia are usually misinterpreted as being lazy or intellectually impaired because their behaviour seldom reveals obvious symptoms in daily life. The authors have established a “school-family-service organization” system based on the experience of dyslexia remediation. The system centres on family education, and detects the signs of dyslexia in time. With the contributions of these three parties, children with dyslexia will improve their academic achievements and reduce their reading difficulties.

Keywords:           family education; dyslexia; “school-family-service organization” system; children’s education