Remedial interventions for developmental dyslexia: Comparing the rhythmic reading training to the "Abilmente" approach

Alice Cancer, Giulia Stievano, Gabriella Pace, Alessia Colombo, Federica Brembati, Roberta Donini, Alessandro Antonietti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The possibility of using rhythmic auditory interventions for addressing dyslexia-related difficulties has been empirically explored by several investigations, with encouraging results. Such findings inspired the design of a novel rhythm-based intervention, Rhythmic Reading Training (RRT), specifically designed for students with developmental dyslexia (DD). To measure RRT efficacy, a clinical trial with an active-controlled design was carried out. More precisely, RRT combined with music games was contrasted with a personalized multi-componential treatment of DD of proven efficacy, namely, the Abilmente approach. Thirty-two children and preadolescents with DD received either one of the two interventions under the supervision of a specialized trainer. Immediate- and medium-term effects on reading skills did not differ between the two interventions. The analysis of the specific contribution of each methodology showed that the Abilmente approach was more effective in improving text reading, while RRT induced more consistent maintenance of all reading sub-processes 4 weeks after the end of the treatment. Consistent with previous research, the rhythmic intervention showed more consistent effects on reading speed. These results confirmed the efficacy of a unimodal process-based intervention such as RRT in inducing global reading effects comparable with those following a personalized multi-componential intervention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalPsychology of Music
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • developmental dyslexia
  • intervention
  • music
  • music therapy
  • reading
  • rehabiliation
  • rhythm


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