I have found tons of research about the benefits of audiobooks for students with dyslexia, but not much about whether it is important or pointless to track the text simultaneously? I'm wondering what you’ve found on this topic?

Dr. Pierson's Response: 

I do not know of any specific research that has looked into your question. That said, we do know that the more one reads, the better reader one becomes. So, ideally, it behooves our kids with dyslexia to read along with the audio when possible. But, knowing they have spent 6+ hours in school doing something that is VERY challenging for them (i.e., reading and writing) and have, most likely, had to put forth much more effort than their non-dyslexic peers to accomplish the same tasks, I suggest to parents that if your child is too tired in the evening, it is fine to simply listen to text. Our goal is to maintain a level of exposure to information that is commensurate with their peers. This is very important as we know that the curriculum changes from learning to read in the early grades (with much information coming through spoken language from the teacher) to using one’s reading to learn, which is solidly in place by 4th grade. Our students with dyslexia need this exposure to grade-level (and above) content to continue to learn vocabulary, complex sentence forms, literate forms of language, etc.

While our students with dyslexia do need to learn how to decode text, in the meantime, audiobooks level the playing field for them. They can read books of interest above their reading level. So, ideally, track the print along with the audio, but, realistically, at times -- just listen and, importantly, enjoy!