Can Reading Problems Be Predicted Early Enough?

Learning to read is an important part of all children’s development. Even if this happens quite smoothly for most children, there are many kids who struggle with the learning process, having problems that can only be solved by receiving special help.

Kids with learning difficulties need and deserve early interventions, but in order to do that a lot of information is needed. Predicting these problems is not easy, but, scientists are looking for ways to tell, from as young as possible, when children are at risk of having later learning difficulties.

Researchers Analyzed the Brain Waves of 3-Year-Old Kids

Besides the already existing pre-reading assessments that are usually given to preschoolers, it seems that the researches have been taken much further this time. So, scientists from Northwestern University analyzed brain waves of children as young as 3.

According to the researchers, the possibility of predicting which kids will have reading problems exists, and it is strongly connected with how their brain deciphers speech when it’s noisy.

The research was published in the journal PLOS Biology and involved outfitting the scalps of 112 kids between the ages of 3 and 14 with EEG wires.

While the children were watching a video of their choice, the researchers were busy, studying the brain responses of the kids.
The responses of the kids’ brains were captured in different aspects, and used to make a statistical model. This can be utilized to measure the children’s performance on early literacy tests.

What Does the Study Unveil?

In accordance with the researchers, it can be identified which kid will have more chances to face reading problems, by finding out how effectively their brains can recognize sounds like consonants amid background noise.
So, the test can predict how well preschoolers will perform on standard pre-reading tests one year later, based on their ability to recognize specific sounds when it’s noisy.

How is This Study Helpful for Kids with Reading Problems?

Knowing a 3-year-old is at risk of encountering future reading problems, might help many parents, as well as kids. Having this information early enough, makes it possible to begin enriching the kids’ life in sound, so that they have more chances to learn how to read faster and easier.


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