Yale Reading Center

What will happen if my child is called in for an fMRI?


If your child is eligible for the fMRI portion of the study you will receive a phone call to schedule an appointment to come back to New Haven, to the Anlyan Center in the heart of Yale’s Medical School. It is important that you understand that these scan time slots are purchased on our grant. We do have limited resources to pay for slots and they are very expensive. It is crucial that you arrive on time for your child’s scan. If you are unable to come to a scheduled scan time we ask that you give us at least five days notice to attempt to schedule another child so we do not lose money. Directions to the MRI center will be mailed to you when we schedule a date for your child to come in.

One of our staff will meet you and your child in the courtyard in front of the building and escort you into the MRI center. In the waiting room we will ask you to fill out an MRI safety sheet about your child. We will ask your child to use the restroom before they go into the scanner and to remove all metal before we leave the waiting room. Parents are not allowed into the scanning room and must remain in the waiting room. The building is secure and if you leave you must be escorted back in by a security guard from the front desk.

They will lie down on a table and have an open helmet with a mirror attached to it put on their head. This is so that they will be able to see a screen set up at their feet with the words on it while lying on their back.

Your child will then be moved about half way into the scanner so that their head lines up with the middle of the scanning tube. For the first few scans your child will not be asked to do anything EXCEPT HOLD STILL.Then the words games will begin!

The scanner is operated by the technician and the word games your child will be playing while in the scanner are run by the reading center’s researcher. Your child will be able to communicate with us in between the individual scans by means of an intercom system. Your child’s comfort is very important to us and we do the best we can to ensure they remain comfortable throughout the duration of the scan.

The most important rule for your child to understand the day they come in for the scan is that they CANNOT move at all once the technician begins setting them up on the table. Movement greater than 2 millimeters in any direction throughout the scan makes your child’s data unusable. If you feel your child may not be able to understand that or would need a “test run” in a scanner before the real scan please let us know and we will set up an additional time for your child to come in and go into the MRI center’s mock scanner where we can try and ease your child’s fears. If you have any questions, please ask one of the Reading Center’s research staff.

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) Safety Information

Other Links:

http://mri.med.yale.edu/MRRC_Facilities.htm (the MRI Center at Yale, where all of our fMRI scanning takes place under the direction of trained and certified technicians.)
http://www.maxandbuddy.com (a site for children with a wonderful short cartoon video explaining the MRI process)