Dyslexia Begins Early

baby and mother with book

Dyslexic brains are wired differently. Researchers now report finding evidence of these differences in infants as young as six months. In a study conducted at Boston Children’s hospital, researchers used DTI (diffusion tensor) imaging to map the development of brain tracts in infants between the ages of six and seventeen months. They compared the brain images of a group of infants with a family history of dyslexia (FHD) with a matched group of similar infants with no such history of dyslexia. 

The researchers found significant differences in the development of white matter in the left hemisphere among the infants in the FHD group, similar to the structural differences seen among older dyslexic children and adults in other studies.   The researchers also found that the differences in left-brain white matter density could be correlated with development of expressive language skills .

brain drawings

This research provides further evidence that the brain differences associated with dyslexia begin very early in life, and are already established by the time the child begins to learn language.  The findings are consistent with the Davis theory that dyslexic children are picture-thinkers who experience difficulty learning to think with the sounds of language.

Citation:  Nicolas Langer, Barbara Peysakhovich, Jennifer Zuk, Marie Drottar, Danielle D. Sliva, Sara Smith, Bryce L. C. Becker, P. Ellen Grant, and Nadine Gaab. White Matter Alterations in Infants at Risk for Developmental Dyslexia Cerebral  Cortex 2017 Feb; 27(2): 1027–1036 (See Full Text)