Tag Archives: Fluency

What Is Surface Dyslexia? How Can We Help?

In an earlier blog, I wrote about Deep Dyslexia. Today, I share ideas about Surface Dyslexia. Both types have challenges with oral fluency. (Fluency includes rate, accuracy, and intonation.)

 Surface Dyslexia and Fluency

Children with Surface Dyslexia demonstrate such proficient use of phonics that they use this skill for all areas of decoding. When confronted with irregular words that do not follow phonemic rules, the efforts to sound out words fail to be useful. As a result, fluency falls apart.

Helping With Fluency

Ideas that help children with Surface Dyslexia also aid those with Deep Dyslexia. Consider suggestions below.

  • Set up Buddy Reading with peers. Reading in pairs protects the child with poor oral reading. Asking a child with weak fluency to read orally in front of a small group or the whole class usually creates embarrassment. (Note: If you are a parent reading this, please request that your child’s teacher avoid asking your child to read orally in front of peers.)reading_tip
  • You may want to purchase commercial recordings for the child to listen to and follow along with eyes and fingers. When a child hears the text while seeing the print and sliding a finger under the words, three senses provide input.
  • Enlarge the print. For a child struggling with oral reading, larger print often makes a significant difference. Consider using a size that would be appropriate for a child with poor vision. (Larger print has been the most successful modification I have used.)
  • According to Marianne Wolf in “New Research on an Old Problem,” repeated reading of short passages is currently considered the best way to improve fluency.

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