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Diagnosis and Treatment of Developmental Dyslexia and Specific Learning Disabilities

Primum Non Nocere

Cainelli, Elisa PhD*,†; Bisiacchi, Patrizia Silvia PhD‡,§

Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics: September 2019 - Volume 40 - Issue 7 - p 558–562
doi: 10.1097/DBP.0000000000000702
Special Article

ABSTRACT: Specific learning disabilities (SLDs) are increasingly being addressed by researchers, schools, and institutions, as shown by the increasing number of publications, guidelines, and incidence statistics. Although SLDs are becoming a major topic in education with the final goal of inclusive schools, consistent drawbacks may emerge, resulting in disadvantages instead of benefits for some children. Overdiagnosis and unnecessary interventions may harm children's neurodevelopment and families' quality of life more than previously thought. In this commentary, we discuss recent understandings, their practical and educational applications, and some considerations of the effects of these choices on children.

*Department of Development and Socialization, University of Padova, Padua, Italy;

Women's and Children's Health Department, Child Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology, Padua University Hospital, Padua, Italy;

Department of General Psychology, University of Padova, Padua, Italy;

§Padova Neuroscience Center, Padua, Italy.

Address for reprints: Patrizia Silvia Bisiacchi, PhD, Department of General Psychology, University of Padova, Via Venezia, 8-35121 Padova, Italy; e-mail:

Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Received April , 2019

Accepted May , 2019

Copyright © 2019 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.