The Relationship between Reading Fluency Improvement and Brainwaves in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders



In May 2024, a research paper titled “The Relationship between Reading Fluency Improvement and Brainwaves in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders” offered exciting new perspectives on the potential link between reading interventions and brain activity in children with ASD. The study, conducted by Noor Syuhada Abdul Hakim and Nurul Hanim Nasaruddin, explored the impact of reading fluency improvement on brainwaves, particularly focusing on the effectiveness of colored overlays.

Cracking the Code: Reading Fluency and ASD


Reading fluency is an essential skill that unlocks the door to academic success and a world of knowledge. It encompasses the ability to read text accurately, smoothly, and at an appropriate pace. Unfortunately, children with ASD often face challenges with reading fluency due to various factors. Difficulties with focus, processing speed, and decoding unfamiliar words can create significant roadblocks. This can hinder their comprehension, enjoyment, and overall confidence when it comes to reading.

Inside the Brain: The Power of Brainwaves


Our brains are constantly buzzing with electrical activity, and these electrical signals can be measured using a tool called electroencephalography (EEG). EEG recordings produce data on brainwaves, which are categorized based on their frequency. Different brainwave frequencies are associated with various cognitive functions. For instance, beta waves, known to range between 13 and 30 Hz, are linked to concentration, alertness, and information processing.


The Investigation: Can Reading Fluency Interventions Influence Brainwaves?


The researchers in this study were curious to explore whether improvements in reading fluency could influence brainwave activity in children with ASD. The study design involved a group of children diagnosed with ASD who participated in a reading fluency intervention program that incorporated the use of yellow overlays. These colored overlays are translucent sheets placed over reading materials and are sometimes used to improve visual processing and reduce visual stress.

EEG recordings were taken before and after the intervention to measure brainwave activity. The researchers then meticulously analyzed the data, specifically looking for correlations between changes in reading fluency and changes in specific brainwave frequencies.

Unveiling the Connection: Brainwaves and Reading Fluency Improvement


The study’s key finding revealed a positive correlation between reading fluency improvement and beta wave activity in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. In simpler terms, children who demonstrated progress in reading fluency after the intervention also showed an increase in beta wave activity in these brain regions. The frontal and temporal lobes play a crucial role in various aspects of language processing, including fluency, comprehension, and memory.

These findings suggest that reading fluency interventions, potentially including the use of colored overlays, might have a positive influence on brain activity patterns in children with ASD. The increased beta wave activity in the frontal and temporal lobes could be indicative of enhanced concentration, information processing, and overall cognitive function during reading tasks.

A Look Ahead: Limitations and Future Directions


It’s important to acknowledge that this study focused specifically on the use of yellow overlays. Further research is necessary to explore if the observed correlation between reading fluency and brainwaves holds true for other reading interventions, such as phonemic awareness training, multisensory reading programs, or computer-assisted instruction. Additionally, the study included a relatively small sample size. Future studies with larger participant groups would strengthen the generalizability of the findings.

Overall, this research by Abdul Hakim and Nasaruddin provides valuable insights into the potential neurological underpinnings of reading fluency improvement in children with ASD. By understanding the brain activity associated with reading fluency gains, researchers can develop more targeted interventions to enhance literacy skills in this population. This paves the way for the creation of more effective and individualized reading programs that not only improve fluency but also promote a deeper understanding and enjoyment of reading for children with ASD.



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