Early Detection of Learning Disabilities: Review of the Research
Perhaps one of the most interesting investigations related to early detection of learning disabilities has been conducted by Livingston, Adam Bracha (1993). In their study, the authors examined for hypothesized season-of-birth effects for dyslexia, schizophrenia spectrum disorders, and neurological soft signs in children and adolescents. Methods included examination of month of birth data in relation to diagnostic findings using charts form a clinic population of 585 boys. Odds, ratios and etiological factions were calculated.
Findings of the study revealed that neurological soft signs showed a sporadic peak for June births. A smooth curve said to suggest true seasonality was evident in dyslexia for births in May, June, and July. For different five-year birth cohorts, early summer birth accounted for between 24 to 71 percent of cases of dyslexia. The authors suggested that viral infection, especially influenza, during the second trimester of pregnancy was the most attractive hypothesis to explain findings.
What makes this study relevant to early detection of learning disabilities is its implication for early screening. In this regard, Livingston et. al (1993) suggested that efforts could be made to identify the LD effects of viral infection on the child in utero. It is strongly recommended that OB-GYN professionals consider conducting evaluations f