Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Children's Health

Font Size

Spacing Letters Apart Helps Dyslexia

Study Shows Spacing Letters Farther Apart Increases Reading Speed, Accuracy in Dyslexia

Testing Wider Letter Spacing to Ease Reading continued...

The children were asked to read two blocks of 24 short sentences in their native languages. The sentences were unrelated to prevent the kids from using contextual cues to understand them. The words were printed in 14-point Times-Roman font. One block of text used normally spaced letters. In a second block, the space between the letters was increased 2.5 points.

H e r e ' s h o w t h a t l o o k s .

The children in the study were asked to read each block of text separately, at sessions that were two weeks apart to make it harder for them to remember what they read.

Some of the kids were assigned to read the widely spaced text first. The others were asked to read the normal text first.

In both cases, dyslexic kids made fewer errors when reading the widely spaced text. Increasing the spacing between the letters doubled the average accuracy. When researchers looked more closely at individual results, they found that the kids who were the poorest readers to begin with benefited the most from the wider letter spacing.

The extra space between the letters also helped dyslexic kids read about 20% faster, an immediate improvement that was on par with the average gain over a full school year for dyslexic children in Italy.

The study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Not a Cure, but a Tool

Experts who were not involved in the research praised the study for its practical approach.

"It's a good study. It matches well with what we see in our clinic," says Fernette Eide, MD, a neurologist in Edmonds, Wash., who specializes in treating children with dyslexia.

Eide is also the co-author -- with her husband, Brock, who is also a doctor -- of the book The Dyslexic Advantage: Unlocking the Hidden Potential of the Dyslexic Brain.

She says therapists who treat dyslexia have recognized that crowding can pose a problem for their patients.

"It's a real phenomenon," Eide says. "You can adjust the fonts, increase the spacing, reduce the number of items on a page and so on. It helps immediately."

Today on WebMD

child with red rash on cheeks
What’s that rash?
plate of fruit and veggies
How healthy is your child’s diet?
smiling baby
Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
Middle school band practice
Understanding your child’s changing body.

worried kid
jennifer aniston
Measles virus
sick child

Child with adhd
rl with friends
Syringes and graph illustration