#1 - THEY LOSE THEIR PLACE WHEN READING.
When we read our eyes have to jump from one work to the next. These are called saccadic eye movements. If your child has one of these types of tracking conditions they will lose their place which make reading difficult.
#2 - THEY REVERSE THEIR LETTERS
Often times people think that when their child reversus their letters this is a sign of dyslexia. But reversing your letters is also a common sign of a vision problem. Eye movement disorders and visual processing issues will cause similar reversals making reading difficult.
#3 - THEIR EYES ARE NOT MOVING TOGETHER AS A TEAM.
Our eyes have to work together, they move, turn and need to point in the same direction. This coordination is called binocular vision or “eye teaming”. If your child’s eyes are not working together as a team they may be experiencing double vision or blurry vision which makes reading difficult.
#4 - THEIR EYES AND BRAIN DO NOT WORK TOGETHER PROPERLY.
Our visual system is extremely complex. It is broken down into three main components reception, processing, and output. If anyone of these functions is not working properly this is going to result in poor reading performance.
#5 - THEIR EYES HAVE TROUBLE STAYING FOCUSED.
A common cause for reading difficulty is the inability for a child to maintain their eyes focusing on an object (text book) for an extended period of time. This issue is called an accommodative dysfunction which typically starts with clear vision at first but grows fuzzy and blurred overtime.
#6 - THEY QUICKLY FORGET WHAT THEY JUST LEARNED OR READ.
Visual memory is the ability to look at something, create a mental image for that thing, and hold that picture in your mind for later recall and use. To read, a child must look at a word, recognize and recall individual letters and strings of letters, create a mental image for that word and associate it with a meaning, and hold that word picture in mind to see and retrieve later. If a child has a visual memory deficiency, the process is a struggle and it affects their ability to read.
#7 - THEY BECOME FRUSTRATED AND TIRED EASILY.
Children that constantly have to struggle with these vision problems will become very fatigued overtime. This fatigue will result in irritability and physical symptoms are common. Many times these children will have poor behavior and may appear restless and disruptive. They will often complain of headaches, say their eyes hurt and are frequently finding excuses to find breaks from homework. Typically requesting a drink of water or a bathroom break. When in reality your eyes are just tired and are looking to relieve some of this eyestrain but lack the ability to properly verbalize it.
To determine if your child has a learning-related vision problem a comprehensive eye examination is required along with a functional vision assessment by an optometrist who is trained in vision therapy.
BUT THERE IS GOOD NEWS……..
Once diagnosed a individualized vision therapy program can be designed to dramatically improve the symptoms in a relatively short period of time.
Click here to read a few of the stories from families that have had vision therapy at Crowder Eye Center
- Dr. Joshua E. Crowder