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Reading Fluency Issues and Causes


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Since 2nd grade my child has had a SLD in reading. Now in 8th grade after years in OG training, the school is removing the label from the IEP after reevaluation. Fluency scores are 8th% or lower for all types of fluency but reading scores are high. Reading comprehensive is 68th% which is low compared to oral comprehension of 99.5%. Full scale IQ is 133 and has second catagory of gifted. 

Since Fluency scores in reading and writing are so low, my child continues to need extra time, notes, audiobooks etc...Reevaluation is concluding that EF and anxiety are causing the delay in reading fluency and labeling as Other Health Issues (OHI). Research I found says reading fluency is not affected by anxiety but other areas are-- other areas that were high on reevaluation would be affected by anxiety. 

Reading teacher does not think fluency will improve with more OG. Now the district is cutting reading services in half and took away all reading goals on new IEP. They are also adding Counseling and Resiliency to the IEP. 

This does not seem right to me but I don't know. Can someone who is dyslexic learn to read but still have very low fluency? Can fluency be improved? Can EF and Anxiety cause problems with just reading and writing fluency with every other area tested being very high? Data from reevaluation on anxiety is 2 teachers ratings at clinically significant level. Mom and student ratings were not at that level. My child does want to do well and school work will cause some anxiety. 

I'm not sure how to respond to the new IEP. If we try it thier way and it does not improve is it harder to fix it? The school is already cutting her reading services because another student is with the teacher now 2 days taking half of my child's time on those days. So, they school does not seem to have the staff needed to help either. 

Any thoughts,  experience or ideas would be helpful.



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My first question is, how qualified is the last OG tutor that she worked with? I would want my child evaluated by a Fellow of the Orton-Gillinhgam Academy or a fully certified CALT before I settled that we had done everything there was to do. OG should take 4 years at max to get the child to an appropriate level. Frankly, I am suspicious of the school's story there.

That said, yes, a student can learn to read and still have low oral fluency. A good SLP may be able to help with this.  EF is part of Dyslexia, so I'm not sure what where they are going with that particular argument.   

As for the Anxiety, I would go with your mom gut. For our family, Polyvagaal or Demartini based therapy has been much more effective than the more commonly available Cognitive Behaivor Therapy. The CBT amounted to "try harder" which clearly wasn't the issue. But again, you and she know more about her feelings than they do. If she doesn't think she's anxious, and you don't that's it, it probably isn't.

I hope that helps.

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Your child can qualify for services with the school using a discrepancy model.  (Page 5 of this does a great job of explaining this model:  https://fs24.formsite.com/edweek/images/WP-n2y-The_Shortest_Distance_Between_Two_Points_Is_RTI.pdf.)  There is a lot of difference between fluency (8th percentile) and IQ of 133 (99th percentile).  If they will not remediate, will they accommodate?  What about an IEE paid by the school since you feel the recommendations aren't appropriate?  IMO, you will help the anxiety when you fix the limits your child has with accessing school.  Does your child have audiobooks/textbooks as an accommodation?

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