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The importance of early intervention cannot be overstated, as the earlier the intervention, the better the outcome (Fletcher et al. 1994). Given the persistent nature of LD and increased likelihood of complicating factors, when LD is left untreated, later intervention will be more intensive and costly as well as less effective (Steele 2004). Early intervention that is more directed toward prevention than treatment and that helps families obtain access to these programs before the child is allowed to fail for several grades is of particular value. The most common early risk is delayed language development. Specific language factors of particular note include mispronouncing words, word-finding problems, trouble rhyming, and difficulty learning the alphabet (Catts 1997; Shaywitz 2003).

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