Dyslexia affects hundreds of children in Birmingham and thousands in Alabama. The Alabama Branch of the International Dyslexia Association is idaalabama.org. You can also contact them at (256) 551-1442
Previously dyslexia could only be determined by difficulties in reading and speaking and was usually not completely apparent until a child had reached school age. This limitation produced problems for teachers, parents, teachers, and doctors alike.
New research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on January 23, 2012, details a new method that can predict the tell tale physical evidence of dyslexia in a preschooler’s brain.
Most non traumatic cause dyslexic people have a lack of communication between the between the occipital and temporal lobes and the temporal and parietal lobes in the back of the brain.
The researchers used fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) to describe the same lack of communication in preschooler’s brains that indicate dyslexia.
This is the first known test for dyslexia in infants and preschoolers that is basically fool proof. No one can scam a fMRI so their parents can receive benefits from the government for a child who is not truly dyslexic.
Testing early allows parents, doctors, teachers, and children the opportunity to prepare for the extra learning and teaching conditions needed so that a dyslexic child can learn to read and speak at as high a function as possible. This is an additional tool that can be coupled with a family history of dyslexia to better serve a dyslexic child’s learning needs.
Nora Raschle, PhD, of the Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience led researchers at the Children’s Hospital Boston in this research that was reviewed at the Eureka Alert web site on January 23, 2012. Jennifer Zuk, M.Ed., also of the Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience at Children’s, was a co-author on the paper
One has to note that the researchers “used an elaborate protocol to get these young children to hold still in the MRI scanner.” The children’s average age was 5.5 years. At the end of the day the researchers, parents, and technicians must have been begging for tranquilizers (for them not the children). Think about a grumpy kid in a car seat for a two hour drive – get the idea of what medical scientists have to contend with.
“Functional characteristics of developmental dyslexia in left-hemispheric posterior brain regions predate reading onset”
Nora Maria Raschlea,b, Jennifer Zuka, and Nadine Gaaba,b,c,1
aLaboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience, Division of Developmental Medicine, Department of Medicine, Children’s Hospital Boston, and bHarvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115; and cHarvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA 02138