Dyslexia Discovered in Infants Through MRI

For today’s blog, I’d like to share this article that came out last week about new research being conducted at Boston Children’s Hospital. Did you know that most kids with dyslexia aren’t diagnosed until around the time they’ve reached third grade? This is because that’s around the time that the kids start to encounter difficulty with reading, and find themselves not progressing at the same rate as their friends and classmates.

So, this means that there are several negative consequences. For one thing, it’s harder at this age for intervention to start working – the earlier it is, the better. And perhaps more importantly, this kind of negative discovery when the child is in third grade often result in a significant loss of self-confidence. As Boston Children’s Hospital’s researcher Nadine Gaab stated, kids have to fail first in order to be diagnosed.

That’s a pretty sad, but true statement. Basically, dyslexia can make kids feel inadequate, which is debilitating in a public classroom setting.

However, in this new research, Gaab and her colleagues have discovered a way that might change the way educators and parents treat kids with dyslexia. Kids at risk of dyslexia have differences in regions of their brain at around 5 years old, which is long before they start reading. These differences are found through MRI scans.

In their newest phase, Gaab used MRI techniques on babies one year and younger. They were able to find differences in the infants’ fibers that connect two key language-processing centers of the brain. Thanks to this research, it’s becoming more possible for us to catch dyslexia much earlier, especially if they know that their kids are more at risk. 

This is great, because this means we can catch dyslexia early enough to start intervention in preschool or kindergarten utilizing programs like Fast ForWord's Reading Readiness and Language V2, making it easier for the child to overcome any symptoms much sooner than kids who are in third grade! If you’re interesting, you can read the whole article here: