Authors: Wanzek, Jeanne.,& Vaughn, Sharon.

Article: Response to Varying Amounts of Time in Reading Intervention for Students With Low Response to Intervention.

Publication: Journal of Learning Disabilities (Sage Journals). Volume: 41 issue: 2, page(s): 126-142 2008 | DOI: 10.1177/0022219407313426

[Full Text]

Two studies examined response to varying amounts of time in reading intervention for two cohorts of first-grade students demonstrating low levels of reading after previous intervention. Students were assigned to one of three groups that received (a) a single dose of intervention, (b) a double dose of intervention, or (c) no intervention. Examination of individual student response to intervention indicated that more students in the treatment groups demonstrated accelerated learning over time than students in the comparison condition. Students’ responses to the single-dose and double-dose interventions were similar over time. Students in all conditions demonstrated particular difficulties with gains in reading fluency. Implications for future research and practice within response to intervention models are provided.

Quotes from Full Text

Perhaps the most consistent finding for students in this study as well as other intervention studies is the relatively low outcomes for fluency (e.g., Lovett, Steinbach, & Frijters, 2000; McMaster et al., 2005; Torgesen et al., 2001). The participants in both our single- and double-dose treatments had particular difficulties making gains in fluency. End-of-the-year scores for the large majority of treatment students were well below the expected benchmark of 40 words per minute. Though this difficulty in affecting fluency outcomes for struggling readers is consistent with previous research, we think that future research might investigate factors to further explain consistently low fluency.

In other words, interventions that have demonstrated effectiveness for “most” students at risk for reading difficulties may be inadequate for the
specific group of students who do not respond initially to these interventions. Students demonstrating initial insufficient response may need a different intervention.


This study suggests that more of the same intervention was not beneficial for these students who demonstrated previous low response to intervention. To this end, further examination of instructional techniques specifically for these students is needed….



Another type of approach is the individualized approach. When individualized intervention is used, emphasis is placed on designing an intervention in response to the differentiated needs of students. The emphasis of instruction may change frequently throughout the intervention period to match changes in individual student needs. Although this individualized approach has been used in practice (e.g., Ikeda, Tilly, Stumme, Volmer, & Allison, 1996; Marston, Muyskens, Lau, & Canter, 2003) and is often referred to conceptually in the field of special education, little data are available to support many of the implementations (Fuchs, Mock,
Morgan, & Young, 2003).

Tagged as: fluency and nonresponse

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