Designed Learning & Designing Learning

Early intervention reading research!

by Gail Brown | April 4, 2021
Early intervention reading research!

Research in early reading, from a neonatologist at Cincinnati Hospital, Dr John Hutton. John heads up a reading program there and has written 2 books, which support the Science of Reading, Baby Bookworm and The Reading House.


For all of us who support early intervention, here's a quote from John Hutton:"Emergent literacy is a developmental process beginning in infancy, when the brain is rapidly developing. It involves skills, knowledge, and attitudes that are precursors to reading and writing," said John Hutton, MD, director of the Reading & Literacy Discovery Center at Cincinnati Children's. "Reading difficulties stem from deficits in any of these domains and take root early with far too many children beginning kindergarten unprepared to learn to read and at-risk of falling farther behind. Our research shows this is especially true for children from minority and impoverished backgrounds."


This research uses screening for reading, along with brain scans that identify biological, ecological and developmental changes in young children’s brain development. More importantly for teachers, this groundbreaking work supports parents of young children and babies, including those in intensive care, to read with their children. The results show that parents of children in this program were five times more likely to read to their children at home. As well, when children are in intensive care, reading to their child reduces parent anxiety and helps them feel like they are supporting their young child.


We are hoping to start a research project here in Australia, using Dr Hutton's The Reading House Book screening tool in preschools and schools with a range of students, including students with additional needs. This will extend the use of John Hutton’s book for early reading screening into schools, for identifying students’ needs and also providing professional learning for preschool and school teachers. Working with a screening tool that has already been validated, written based on evidence-based reading research, gives us a sound foundation for supporting students and teachers!

 Photo by Picsea on Unsplash

Link to Dr John Hutton's Baby Bookworm research paper: