Emotionally Disturbed Students
Students with emotional and behavioral disorders (E/BD) frequently exhibit academic deficits alongside their behavioral deficits, particularly in the area of reading; however, there are very few studies examining ways to address the reading problems of this population of students at the middle and high school level. The academic deficits exhibited by students with emotional and behavioral disorders (E/BD) are well documented in research literature. As outlined in the federal definition of emotional disturbance, students with this disorder demonstrate an inability to learn and, as a result, pose instructional challenges alongside the behavioral problems that they exhibit in the school environment.
Many of …show more content…
Although older students with E/BD exhibit a range of reading problems, a hallmark characteristic of poor readers is the inability to read text fluently. As noted in National Reading Panel Report (2000), fluency is a key component in the effort to improve reading achievement. Meyer and Felton (1999) noted the need for fluency training alongside decoding and word identification training for poor readers. Specifically, reading fluency influences overall reading ability in several important ways. First, increasing the speed and accuracy with which a person reads affects how well he or she is able to comprehend the text. When poor readers expend most of their energy and attention on decoding individual words, they often have trouble remembering what they have read and the meaning of the text gets lost in the process (Homan, Klesius, & Hite, 1993).
As such, increased fluency is necessary for readers to focus on reading for meaning. In particular, several studies have documented the correlation between increases in fluency and reading comprehension in students with learning disabilities. Second, reading fluency can affect a student's motivation to read. The greater the difficulty a