A Simple Way To Improve Reading: Neurological Impress Reading Technique

Looking for a hands-on, practical way to help with your child’s reading skills? Try the Neurological Impress Reading Technique. This intervention method has a student touch, see, speak, and hear the text and ultimately works on improving reading fluency and word recognition. It is not time or labor intensive, but consistency and proper technique are important. A parent can work with their child 10 minutes per day over the course of at least six weeks and see progress.

How to use this technique with your child:

Choose a book your child is interested in and is fairly easy for him or her to read. As your child becomes more practiced, increase the text difficulty.

  1. Lay the book on an inclined surface. A 2-inch notebook makes a great slant board to prop the book on.
  2. Begin reading the text at a steady, even pace, pausing appropriately for punctuation.
  3. As you read, trace your finger above the words as you say them. Your child will have their finger moving at the same time under the words. The movement should be smooth and in sync with one another.
  4. Your child’s goal is to keep up with your reading. They will sound like your echo. If they are struggling to keep up, slow your pace down. If they are reading ahead, increase your pace and help them stay with their finger.
  5. Have your child keep their eyes where their finger is. Don’t let their finger run ahead or trail behind what they are reading. You should be reading and tracing the words in synchrony.
  6. As you come upon punctuation, both of you will tap twice to signal a pause for commas, periods, colons, semi-colons, question marks, exclamation marks, dashes, or ellipsis.
  7. As you and your child get better at reading this way, allow their voice to become the dominate one while you begin to whisper.

Remember to keep your reading time fun and enjoyable. You do not need to correct their mistakes or ask questions about the text. Along with reading fluency, you are helping your child gain confidence in their reading. With this technique, your child is set up to be successful since they are slightly echoing you to begin with. Instead of getting stuck on decoding a difficult word, they hear you say it and can repeat and move on. Have fun and stay consistent!


Lana, B. (2013). Neurological impress reading. Pathway School training handout. Pathfinders Learning. Rancho Santa Margarita, CA.

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