Small child being read to by his mother with grandfather in the background.



Creativity, Confidence and Communication

Childhood reading can have a long-term impact on these and many other factors of success.  For children with reading difficulties, the outcomes can be devastating.  In fact, third grade reading proficiency scores correlate strongly with school readiness, school attendance and income--and are the most important indicator of high school graduation.

We know a lot about the brain and how it processes written material, so much of our research focuses on studying normal language and reading development, atypical reading development and developing as well as validating effective treatment options for reading difficulties.

Cincinnati Children's takes pride in its translational research--a process of applying discoveries generated in the laboratory to directly impact patients and families with innovative care.


Conducting and using research designed to prevent and remediate reading difficulties is the primary focus of the Reading and Literacy Discovery Center.  As part of the Cincinnati Children’s Organization, Reading and Literacy Discovery Center scientists and clinicians translate discoveries made in the laboratory to children’s learning at home and in the classroom.

Research shows that:

·         A child reading below level in 1st grade has a 90% probability of reading poorly in 4th grade, and a 75% probability continuing to read poorly in high school

·         Early identification and explicit instruction are key factors in closing struggling readers’ reading achievement gaps

·          There are five essential domains of skills needed for reading development:

1.    Phonemic awareness: ability to hear individual sounds

2.    Phonics : using letter-sound knowledge

3.    Sight words: ability to recognize words without decoding

4.    Vocabulary: use of working memory and long-term memory

5.    Comprehension: ability to extract information from text while reading

·         3rd grade reading proficiency scores are the most important indicator of high school graduation.

Contributing to the growing body of knowledge about how the brain processes written material, RLDC scientists study language and reading development using brain imaging, behavioral testing, eye tracking, and other tools and validate effective treatment options for children who have reading difficulties