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Posted 6th March, 2017 by Sue Partridge

Back in 2012, did a dyslexia assessment on a young man who I shall call John.  John was in his second year of sixth form and applying to university to study history. John’s exam grades the previous year were below his predicted ones. As a result of the assessment, John had extra time in his module exams (and subsequenctly went to university!).

John’s reading profile is interesting.  He came out above average for word recognition and comprehension (using WIAT-II-UK-T) but his reading speed of 127 words per minute (wpm) is below average for his age.  His scores in CTOPP were all average, as was his reading of non-words (TOWRE-2).  I concluded that he did not have any significant problems with phonological processing, though he did show some signs of challenge with focus and attention (his speed of writing was also adversely affected by having to think abut what to write, rather than because of any difficulty with manual dexterity).

What was also notable was that John invariably chose to read aloud (to the annoyance of some of his classmates).  I was intrigued about why he had got into this habit and volunteered a few hours of support during half term to look into this more.

Between the feedback on the assessment and our support session, John actually decided to go for reading silently and was happy with the result! Issue sorted? Maybe yes, maybe no.  I carried on.

I decided to use an experimental method with a pre-test, post-test format, even with just 3 hours of intervention between.  Using  passages deemed to be A level standard (one from Klein 2003 and one of my own devising, measured to be of similar readability), John  read at 153 wpm – already an improvement from reading silently – but his comprehension and recall was limited (I predicted this might be a spin off of not getting the auditory feedback loop to hold attention).

In the post-test, three hours later John achieved a reading speed of 182 wpm,and his recall covered a wider range of the passage… so what did I do in between?  What would you have done?  Press “read more” after you have had a think!
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