New Research Into Early Signs of Dyslexia
It is still a point up for discussion as to wy about 10 percent of the world’s population has dyslexia or reading difficulties. Bright and verbal, people with dyslexia have trouble with the written word.
But can the problem be solved before it even begins? Identifying children with dyslexia as preschoolers could lead to better solutions, saving years of frustration in school.
The #1 signal of a child at risk for dyslexia is difficulty rhyming at age 3-4. This seemingly playful activity is a critical clue that a child is not able to manipulate language, most liekly because of an auditory processing delay that may not be showing up yet in spoken or receptive language (following directions).
This is a major clue, because reading is essentially a language skill. fMRIs show a 98% overlap in activity comparing a the brain of a person reading to that same person listening. Rhyming skill points to a language glitch, which is sufficient reason to treat a child as an at risk reader. Rhyming is the earliest of dyslexia symptoms.
There may be other clues however. Researchers in Padua, Italy, tested kindergartners who had not yet learned to read. Those who did poorly on visual attention tests were more likely to struggle with reading later on. Screening children at a very young age could prevent reading struggles that often follow people well into adulthood.
Here is a link to the visual attention research.