The study was conducted with children from one parochial school in Washington State. The school serves children throughout the normal range of learning abilities, and
teachers were trained to teach students with learning disabilities.
The sample for this study included 20 English-speaking dyslexic children. The study’s criterion for dyslexia was a discrepancy of at least one standard deviation between a
student’s Verbal Comprehension Index on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (Second Edition) and his or her score on one or more measures of reading and writing.
Children with diagnosed neurological or psychiatric disorders or Wechsler Verbal Communication indices below 88 were excluded from the study sample. The 20 children in
the study had a mean Wechsler Verbal Communication Index of 106.7. Ten of the children were in the 4th grade, six were in the 5th grade, and four were in the 6th grade;
12 of the children were boys and 8 were girls. The 20 children were randomly assigned to one of two interventions: 10 children to Read Naturally ® and 10 children to Pay
Attention! Pretest data were collected prior to the start of the interventions, and a first set of posttest data was collected after the completion of 10 sessions in Read Naturally ®
or Pay Attention! At that point, students from the two groups were combined, and they participated in 10 more sessions with a third intervention (Writing Lessons with Attention
Bridges), after which a second posttest was administered. As the focus of this report is Read Naturally ®, this review is based only on a comparison of pretest and first posttest
data. There was no attrition of students between the pretest and first posttest.
Children in the Read Naturally ® Masters Edition group participated in ten 25-minute individual sessions. This involved teacher modeling, repeated reading, and progress monitoring
to increase fluency in reading. The students chose a story, were asked to recall what they knew about the book topic, read the story aloud while the teacher identified
missing or unknown words, and students marked a graph showing how many words were read in one minute. Student and teacher then read the story aloud together several
times with the teacher modeling fluent reading. The student then practiced individually. In the final step, the student read aloud again for one minute and graphed the number
of words read.
Children in the Pay Attention! group participated in ten 25-minute individual sessions. Students practiced attention-focusing and executive functions using cognitive operations
such as understanding of information and instructions they heard, switching tasks flexibly, and maintaining focus despite distractions. Materials included cards and tapes with
spoken words and distracting sounds. Students received feedback on mistakes, and they charted their progress to track growth.
The authors assessed students with a battery of tests at the pretest, first posttest, and second posttest time points. The domain of reading fluency was measured by administration
of the Reading Accuracy and Reading Rate subtests of the Gray Oral Reading Test–III (GORT-III). The domain of writing was measured by administration of the Written Expression subtest of the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (Second Edition). Other outcomes (executive functioning and handwriting) were reported in the study but were not included in this report because they were outside the scope of the Students with Learning Disabilities review. For a more detailed description of the included outcome measures, see Appendices A2.1–A2.2.
Support for implementation
Participants were instructed by the first or second author or a graduate student in school psychology who was supervised by those authors.