Study: Dyslexia-related gaps can appear by first grade

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No surprise for parents of children with dyslexia: researchers have found that academic gaps related to dyslexia can show up years before children traditionally are expected to read. The evidence shows the need to identify and provide reading programs for children at risk for dyslexia.

Summary

Achievement Gap in Reading Is Present as Early as First Grade and Persists through Adolescence, Journal of Pediatrics, November 2015.

Sally and Bennett Shaywitz, co-directors of the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity, lead the study, called the Connecticut Longitudinal Study, on the emergence and effects of reading disabilities.

They followed 414 participants over 33 years, from 1st to 12th grade, and found that:

“The achievement gap between typical and dyslexic readers is evident as early as first grade, and this gap persists into adolescence. These findings provide strong evidence and impetus for early identification of and intervention for young children at risk for dyslexia. Implementing effective reading programs as early as kindergarten or even preschool offers the potential to close the achievement gap.”

The study identified specific signs of dyslexia, such as young children mispronouncing words, having difficulty learning the names of letters in the alphabet, or being unable to find an object that starts with a particular sound (source: Sarah Sparks, Education Week blog).

Read the study

Direct link to the study here.

More information

The Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity: Check out their wonderful website for educators, students, parents, and dyslexics of all ages.

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