Researchers Find Treating Dyslexia Early is Crucial to Future Achievement

Researchers from the University of California, Davis and Yale University have found that addressing dyslexia as soon as possible is crucial to closing the achievement gap between dyslexic and typical readers.

According to the report published in this month’s The Journal of Pediatrics, “Achievement Gap in Reading Is Present as Early as First Grade and Persists Through Adolescence,” dyslexia affects 17%-21% of school-age population.

For those unfamiliar, as a learning disability “dyslexia is a problem with a component of spoken language, phonological processing: that is, getting to the elemental sounds of speech, affecting both spoken and written language,” the report said.

In order to arrive at its findings, the longitudinal study analyzed 414 participants from first to twelfth grade, focusing on earlier grades to prove that focusing on reading at and after third grade is partially responsible for delayed dyslexia diagnoses.

According to the researchers, “[c]ompared with typical readers, dyslexic readers had lower reading scores as early as first grade, and their trajectories over time never converge with those of typical readers.”

“The findings reveal that such differences are not so much a function of increasing disparities over time, but more so reflect marked differences already present in first grade between typical and dyslexic readers,” said

The researchers say in order to begin to narrow the achievement gap for dyslexic readers, intervention needs to start in early education in the pre-school and kindergarten years.

Read the full report here.