Using EMDR with learning disabled students to improve reading


The purpose of this study was to examine the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) technique and any affect it may have on improving a child's performance in reading. Improvements in self concept, and in the childs attitudes about learning, and any lessening of anxiety in learning to read were also assessed. The subjects were 6 male students in the third and fourth grade who also were determined to have a learning disability. All the students were in the same Learning Disability Resource room for help in their academic subjects. All had IQ's above 85. They were divided into 2 groups. The researcher worked with the experimental group of 3 students using the EMDR technique for a period of 8 weeks, 2 times a week. The other 3 students were the control group. The researcher met with the control group for 8 weeks, 2 times a week to discuss any difficulties they were having in school. The students were administered pre and post tests in reading and written expression using Curriculum Based Measurement (CBM) tests. Self esteem inventories and school achievement tests were also analyzed. Results indicated a significant improvement in reading fluency and written expression in the experimental group. In contrast, two of the control group students improved only slight or not at all. One of the control group students did improve significantly in all areas. Results suggest that EMDR did have a significant effect on the three experimental students reading and writing abilities. Self esteem ratings, however, remained the same.






Rita Weinberg
Sandy Caspers

Original Work Citation

Weinberg, R., & Caspers, S. (1997, July). Using EMDR with learning disabled students to improve reading. Presentation at the 2nd EMDR International Association Conference, San Francisco, CA



“Using EMDR with learning disabled students to improve reading,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 23, 2020,

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