Gaab, N., PhD. (2017, February). It’s a Myth That Young Children Cannot Be Screened for Dyslexia! Retrieved November 12, 2017, from https://dyslexiaida.org/its-a-myth-that-young-children-cannot-be-screened-for-dyslexia/ [1]

In this article by Nadine Gaab, 3 specific myths are debunked regarding childhood screening of dyslexia. She argues against the “wait-to-fail” approach that many dyslexic diagnoses rely on, and instead proposes that early screening and detection of dyslexia can lead to greater benefits for the child and the overall education system.

The first myth states that “signs of dyslexia can only be seen after two or three years of reading instruction.” However, Gaab states that as young as 3 years old, weaknesses in phonological awareness, verbal working memory, name recollection, and letter knowledge can be detected in children. This means that early screenings can be useful to implement interventions before the child suffers for 2 or 3 years.

The second myth states that “even with early screening, early intervention is not effective.” To refute this, Gaab says that the brain’s capacity to change and adapt actually is highest when the child is younger, similar to learning a language. If more interventions are aimed at younger children and emphasize reading in earlier grades, combatting dyslexia can be a lot easier. The third myth is that “early screening costs too much for school districts, and there is no time for additional testing.” Although Naab recognizes that cost is an important factor and sometimes a challenge, she argues that screening for dyslexia earlier will save costs in the long run.

Lastly, Naab proposes a model for what effective screening should look like and take into account, outlined by the acronym SCREENED:

S Short
C Comprehensive
R Resourceful
E Early
E ESL/dialect inclusion
N Neurobiology/genetics
E Evidence based
D Developmentally appropriate

To help children grow to their full potential and feel less burdened by their dyslexia, early intervention is essential. With these components proposed by Gaab, early childhood programs can be transformed to detect dyslexia earlier, allowing for comprehensive interventions from a younger age.

To read the full article by Nadine Gaab, follow this link [1].

Nadine Gaab debunks 3 specific myths regarding childhood screening of dyslexia.