Research findings from a neuroimaging study conducted at Children's Hospital Boston and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences tell us that brain abnormalities are evident in young children at risk for dyslexia before showing symptoms of dyslexia and well before a diagnosis is made. These changes in brain activity, previously thought to be associated with dyslexic children who have had years of reading difficulties, can lead to early diagnosis and intervention. 

In the report by US News, study co-author Nadine Gaab, an assistant professor of pediatrics in the neuroscience program at Harvard Medical School and Children's Hospital Boston states "Early identification of children at risk in kindergarten or even before then offers a chance to reduce the clinical, psychological and social implications of reading disability/dyslexia," and "Identifying early predictors will also help educators, parents and scientists to find ways to support the academic and cognitive development of children with reading disability/dyslexia and may also lead to strategies that will reduce the severity of reading disability." Read the article on US News for more details on this groundbreaking study.

A similar article from Reuters goes on to quote April Benasich, directer of the Carter Center for Neurocognitive Research at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, who was not part of the study. Benasich says "The important point of this paper is it shows the need to look for signs of dyslexia earlier."

Gaab's team recently won a grant from the National Institutes of Health to do a larger study. "Families often know that their child has dyslexia as early as kindergarten, but they can't get interventions at their schools," she said in a statement. And Gaab followed up with, "If we can show that we can identify these kids early, schools may be encouraged to develop programs."