Intervening on Dyslexia is the main focus of my private practice in Boulder, Colorado. Each child with Dyslexia is different and each child will respond to intervention differently. Even among all these differences, most interventionists agree that building adequate reading fluency is essential to remediating the reading system.
I hear from parents frequently, “I do not care if my child is a slow reader.” I understand this point of view. I had similar thoughts earlier in my career and questioned the focus on reading fluency. Now as a more seasoned professional, I understand the vitalness of reading fluency.
The most common theory for reading fluency is one of resource allocation. If the mind is spending too much energy decoding words, there are not enough cognitive resources to comprehend. This theory will accurately apply to many dyslexic children, but not all. There are many whose decoding skills are well remediated and they still struggle with reading fluency. This group of dyslexics are typically struggling with syntax. Syntax (oral language) greatly impacts reading fluency. Current research has identified syntax as the greatest influence on reading fluency after decoding. It is essential to explicitly target syntax as a component of any reading intervention program. Finally, there is processing speed. This is a hardwired skill that is highly resistant to treatment and greatly impacts reading fluency. While there are many processing speed measures, rapid naming tends to be the best indicator for overall reading fluency performance. With all of these theories under consideration, my job as a dyslexic interventionist in Boulder, Colorado is to determine what is the child’s greatest obstacle in reading fluency and design an intervention plan to overcome it.
Fortunately, I typically see great improvements in reading fluency within my dyslexic clientele in Boulder, Colorado. I use standardized, national-normed, Word Correct Per Minute measurements. My aim is for children to achieve at least the 50th percentile in reading fluency. Anything less than that is inadequate to independently succeed in the curriculum. Although, this is just the first step. Please read my next post that explains the differences between Reading Fluency and Reading Stamina.