The Effect of In-School Saccadic Training on Reading Fluency and Comprehension in First and Second Grade Students


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.

Further Reading

Read the whole study at the Journal of Child Neurology.

The Effect of Saccadic Training on Early Reading Fluency

Clinical Pediatrics, May 2014

Eye movements are necessary for the physical act of reading and have been shown to relate to underlying cognitive and visuoattentional processes during reading. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of saccadic training using the King-Devick remediation software on reading fluency.

In this prospective, single-blinded, randomized, crossover trial, a cohort of elementary students received standardized reading fluency testing pre- and posttreatment. Treatment consisted of in-school training 20 minutes per day, 3 days per week for 6 weeks.

The treatment group had significantly higher reading fluency scores after treatment (P < .001), and posttreatment scores were significantly higher than the control group (P < .005).

Saccadic training can significantly improve reading fluency. We hypothesize that this improvement in reading fluency is a result of rigorous practice of eye movements and shifting visuospatial attention, which are vital to the act of reading.

Further Reading
Read the whole study at Clinical Pediatrics

Oculomotor Training Using King-Devick Remediation and Elementary School Reading Fluency Outcomes

August 2015

Oculomotor training has been associated with improvements in reading fluency, but the physical act of reading is not typically taught in schools. The purpose of this retrospective study was to examine reading fluency outcomes in elementary students following oculomotor training. Methods: Pre- and post-training Scholastic Reading fluency benchmarks were reviewed for nine students (Grade1 through 4) who had undergone 6-week in-school training using King-Devick (K-D) Remediation software. Results: All students demonstrated improvement in reading fluency scores following training and this was statistically significant (p=0.008, Wilcoxon signed-rank). Conclusion: Findings support prior research that oculomotor training results in improved reading fluency.

Further Reading
Read the whole study at Journal of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development

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