The Impact of Comorbid Disorders on Reading Fluency Growth

The Impact of Comorbid Disorders on Reading Fluency Growth

First Author: Emily Lewis -- The University of Memphis
Additional authors/chairs: 
Elizabeth Meisinger
Keywords: Dyslexia, Comorbidity, Reading fluency, Intervention, young readers
Abstract / Summary: 

Abstract:
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of comorbidity on the growth of reading fluency in students with a specific learning disability (SLD) in reading. It is widely acknowledged that comorbid diagnoses are common among this population, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, SLDs in math, written expression, and language and articulation difficulties (Fletcher et al., 2019). It is hypothesized that students with a comorbid condition will experience less growth across the school year in reading fluency growth compared to those who have a reading disability alone.
Method: All participants in the study (N = 132) were diagnosed with a SLD in reading and attended a private school that specialized in remediating reading difficulties. First- through fifth- graders were administered a variety of norm-referenced and curriculum-based measures of oral reading fluency, silent reading fluency, and reading comprehension at the beginning and end of the school year.
Results: Over half of the students (67%) were diagnosed with at least one comorbid condition. A mixed factorial ANCOVA will be conducted to determine the influence of comorbid disorders on reading fluency skill growth across the school year (fall to spring). Covariates will include sex, age, and family history of dyslexia.
Conclusion: Among individuals with dyslexia, reading fluency is a difficult skill to remediate (Lee & Yoon, 2017). Few interventions studies address comorbidity, despite its prevalence in this population. This study addresses an important gap in the literature regarding the impact of comorbidity on reading fluency growth.