Blogs About Reading

Aiming for Access

June Behrmann

June Behrmann is a longtime special education teacher (pre-K to grade 6) who retired for about two seconds, and is now prospecting for accessible instructional resources. Follow June on Twitter @aimnoncat. Thank you to AIM-VA: Accessible Instructional Materials for sharing this blog with us.

Identify, Intervene as Early as Kindergarten for Students with Dyslexia, Researchers Say

November 11, 2015

In research just published by the University of California at Davis and Yale University, educators can find advice to heed now about promptly identifying and intervening with students who are dyslexic. The thinking calls for action at the start of schooling rather than wait to formally diagnose the reading disorder until grade three when many students are first identified.

In their article "Achievement Gap In Reading Is Present As Early As First Grade," published in the November 2015 Journal of Pediatrics, researchers including Bennett and Sally Shaywitz, with Emilio Ferrer, John M. Holaha, Karen Marchione, Reissa Michaels, describe findings from a longitudinal study with 414 participants from grades K-12. 

Results show that as "early as first grade, compared with typical readers, dyslexic readers had lower reading scores and verbal IQ, and their trajectories over time never converge with those of typical readers. These data demonstrate that such differences are not so much a function of increasing disparities over time but instead because of differences already present in first grade between typical and dyslexic readers."

Achievement Gap

Moreover, they concluded, "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."

Accessible Learning Materials?

AIM-VA with its partners, offer books converted from print to formats that allow eligible students, including those with dyslexia, to read in ways that best help them learn. Conversions run the gamut from preschool to post-secondary education. These alternatives to print, which are barriers to learning, result once teachers make requests of their federally funded AEM (formerly AIM) projects. Accessible books also are available from state and national partners that work with AEM in every state.

Thank you to AIM-VA: Accessible Instructional Materials for sharing this blog with our Reading Rockets audience.

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"You may have tangible wealth untold. Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I you can never be — I had a mother who read to me." — Strickland Gillilan