The Effect of In-School Saccadic Training on Reading Fluency and Comprehension in First and Second Grade Students: A Randomized Controlled Trial

David Dodick, Amaal J. Starling, Jennifer Wethe, Yi Pang, Leonard V. Messner, Craig Smith, Christina L. Master, Rashmi B. Halker-Singh, Bert Brandon Vargas, Jamie M. Bogle, Jay Mandrekar, Alexandra Talaber, Danielle Leong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Efficient eye movements provide a physical foundation for proficient reading skills. We investigated the effect of in-school saccadic training on reading performance. In this cross-over design, study participants (n = 327, 165 males; mean age [SD]: 7 y 6 mo [1y 1 mo]) were randomized into treatment and control groups, who then underwent eighteen 20-minute training sessions over 5 weeks using King-Devick Reading Acceleration Program Software. Pre- and posttreatment reading assessments included fluency, comprehension, and rapid number naming performance. The treatment group had significantly greater improvement than the control group in fluency (6.2% vs 3.6%, P =.0277) and comprehension (7.5% vs 1.5%, P =.0002). The high-needs student group significantly improved in fluency (P <.001) and comprehension (P <.001). We hypothesize these improvements to be attributed to the repetitive practice of reading-related eye movements, shifting visuospatial attention, and visual processing. Consideration should be given to teaching the physical act of reading within the early education curriculum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-111
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Child Neurology
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Keywords

  • eye movements
  • intervention
  • randomized controlled trial
  • reading
  • saccadic training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology

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