Vision and Reading,
Is Your Child Struggling in School?
Vision and reading are essential for your child’s optimum performance in school. Your child’s vision and reading can be transformed by Vision Therapy!
Approximately 20% of grade school children struggle when reading. For a large percentage of these children, their vision interferes with their reading.
School vision screenings test visual acuity or sharp eyesight, usually only at distance. However, most of learning happens at near working distances and acuity alone does not equate to adequate, efficient, visual functioning.
For vision and reading success, children need to be able to:
Follow a line without losing their place.
Coordinate their eye movements.
Make quick changes in focus from the book or screen to the blackboard.
Process and interpret what they are reading.
Difficulties with any of these skills can cause the child to struggle, unnecessarily, when reading, as parents and teachers fail to recognize that the reading problem is may be due to vision issues.
The following video is about a little girl named Anna who suffered from a vision problem that went undetected for too long. Her vision affected her reading and writing.
Here are some visual difficulties
that can affect vision and reading:
Tracking – child lacks the precise coordination of eye movements required for following a line of print when reading. This causes the child to have difficulty with comprehension as they lose their place, transpose or skip words often.
Eye teaming – double vision results when the image from the right eye and left eye are too different for the child’s brain to combine into a single picture. The brain is forced to make the decision to see double or ignore (suppress) the image from one of the eyes. This alternation of visual input between the two eyes can lead to decreased reading comprehension and losing place when reading.
Visual Motor Integration – once the information enters into the visual system, it must be interpreted by the brain to be used to direct logical reasoning, movement through space, and learning. When this processing system is inefficient it can lead to:
Difficulty with sports or clumsiness. The is called gross motor eye-body coordination.
Difficulty with handwriting. This is called fine motor eye-hand coordination.
Discrimination – the child’s ability to distinguish between words that are spelled similarly, like what/that.
Memory – a child’s visual memory that leads to good reading comprehension.
Sequential Memory – the child skill at remembering characters and forms in a particular order or remembering patterns.
Spatial Relations – a child’s capacity to differentiate similar forms or objects.
Spatial Orientation – the child’s ability to interpret objects direction, necessary to not reverse letters and know right from left.
Form Constancy – a child’s ability to distinguish and manipulate differences in shape, orientation and size.
Closure – the child’s capacity to complete a whole picture from incomplete or partial information. This applies to words, outcomes or thoughts and helps with quick reading and comprehension.
Figure Ground – a child’s ability to locate an object without being confused by the surrounding images or background. This helps the child with concentration and scanning information.
Focusing – when reading, it is necessary to maintain effortless clarity of the words you are reading. This is called accommodation. In an inefficient visual system, the child’s eyes grow tired whenstraining to keep the print focused or clear.
Visual Perception – this is the child’s ability to interpret, process and analyze what they read. This includes the following visual skills:
Vision and Reading Testimonials From Our Patients
“If it wasn’t for eye therapy, my grades wouldn’t be so good. I made High Honors for the first time and went from the lowest reading group to almost Advanced!” – Olivia M.
“According to mom: Reading became much easier with an increase of 1.5 grade levels. Basketball and Baseball are much easier, able to hit baseball much more accurately now. His confidence has increased and no longer has a paraprofessional working with him. His attention span has increased and his behavior is much calmer. Quinton used to become very fatigued easily, but that has changed, as well. Huge increase in cognitive abilities, especially math!” ~ Quinton B.
“As much as parents don’t want to do the practicing, you should stick with it! It pays off.” ~ Quinton’s mom
“I can see better without double vision.” “I can play on monkey bars better. It is much easier now.” “Seeing baseball and tennis balls coming at me is much better.” ~ Ari B.
“I can see the board from the back of the room. I don’t bump into the walls at school anymore. You have to be patient with the Vision Therapy because “Wow, it works!” I would definitely recommend it to other teenagers.” ~ Rebecca B.
For more information about vision and reading: “Vision and Reading, Important Information About Why Your Child May Be Struggling”Dr. Collier can help children with poor visual skills that cause them to struggle with reading. Feel free to contact Dr. Juanita Collier, a behavioral optometrist (or
developmental optometrist), with any questions.
Related Article: Vision Therapy for Children
Please note: In-office therapy under the direction of a behavioral optometrist using prisms, filters and lenses, as used with our patients, is far more effective than home-based therapy.