Dyslexia and Reading

National Reading Panel Report – The National Reading Panel was established in 1997 to review research and recommend best practices for teaching children to read.  Their report was submitted in 2000 and recommended explicit instruction in phonemic awareness and phonics.

“Learning Disabilities, Dyslexia and Vision” – American Academy of Pediatrics article containing many facts about dyslexia with research citations, including that dyslexia accounts for 80% of all learning disabilities and affects 5-20% of the population.  It also addresses that can’t be remediated with colored overlays.

NICHD Research Program in Reading Development – A paper by G. Reid Lyon, former Chief of the Child Development and Behavior Branch at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, which summarizes the results of 20+ years of NICHD research on reading. The NICHD Research Program in Reading Development presentation slides also show this information.

Important findings:  Phonemic awareness is extremely important, children at risk for reading failure can be identified in kindergarten, children who are poor readers in 3rd grade are highly likely to remain so in 9th grade, and special education does not close the reading gap.  Recommendation:  No child should be placed in special education without first receiving scientifically based instruction.

Summary of Audio Book Research – List of studies which have found audio books have a positive effect on children’s literacy development

“Whole Language High Jinks” – Literacy expert Louisa Moats explains that despite the National Reading Panel’s recommendation for direct, explicit phonics instruction, whole language remains the dominant practice in schools.  She explains the problems with Reading Recovery and guided reading programs which claim to be “balanced literacy.”

“Evidence-Based Research On Reading Recovery” – Statement from 30+ international literacy researchers stating concerns about Reading Recovery’s effectiveness and misleading research practices.

The Gaab Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital studies differences in the dyslexic brain and is working to identify these differences in very young children, so that intervention can begin earlier.

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