For parents who do not have an eye tracking oculomotor dysfunction, it is often very difficult to understand why your child cannot follow the text along the page. After all you just go from the left side of the page to the right side of the page and then return back to the left side of the page on the next line. You do this same pattern over and over for each paragraph. Surely this can't be that difficult to learn?
In the same way, how can your child not remember what they just read? Do you get frustrated when your child was shown a word that they should know and then a few lines later, she could not remember that same word?
Maybe they just need to try harder...
An individual with eye tracking difficulties has to put an excessive amount of effort into the reading process. Try Calgary Vision Therapy's Oculomotor Eye Tracking Dysfunction Demo yourself.
When you do try this demo (read the entire passage):
1) Notice how much effort it took you to complete the task
2) Was it more difficult to comprehend what you read? Can you
remember (without looking back at the page) what the first
couple sentences were about?
3) Can you appreciate the difficulty in separating the
mechanical (eye movement) visual process from the
When the mechanical movements required for reading of the eyes are poor, reading will tend to be slower, choppier, more laborious and comprehension tends to decrease. When you tried this demo, did you experience the frustration? Did you know that 20/20 testing alone does not check for this, nor does following a target to see if there are any eye muscles restrictions. Just because you were told you had 20/20 ‘vision’ (more correctly sight – see the 20/20 Myth), that does not mean you do not have any problems with eye tracking.
At Calgary Vision Therapy, we have several separate normed tests which allow us to see how the mechanical movements of your child’s eyes are operating while doing eye movements required for reading. We can measure the developmental age level that your child is operating this visual skill at.
Some involve calling out single digit numbers in a certain pattern; some involve following interwoven lines from one object to another. Should your child be at a certain decoding level, we may use the ReadAlyzer test as part of one of the evaluations. The ReadAlyzer uses infrared light to record how your child’s eyes are moving while reading a short story. The information collected here allows us to record how many fixations the child makes during the paragraph, how many regressions (back reading) the child does, how long they fixate on words, and the reading speed. Each measurement shows their performance and their performance age equivalency.
Office based vision therapy can remediate these oculomotor eye tracking dysfunctions. Vision Therapy will allow your child to put in much less effort in the mechanical aspects of the reading process. He/she can use that additional effort in the areas of comprehension and learning. Should there be severe educational delays, additional educational assistance may be necessary to help fill the educational gaps. This additional assistance include services from a reading tutor, resource teacher, or an educational organization. After your child's eye tracking system is improved, he/she will take in much more information from the reading specialist than he/she would have prior to having this visual dysfunction improved.
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Suite 130, 2880 Glenmore Trail SE | Calgary, AB T2C 2E7 | Phone: 403-242-1800