Although it may not seem apparent at first, reading can be extremely difficult for a child with visual problems. When learning-related vision problems go undetected, a child might seem to be picking up on words and demonstrating comprehension initially, but overall performance and literacy will suffer.
Studies have revealed that the greater the amount of effort a child must put forth to read, the lower the child’s overall reading performance and comprehension will be. Reading requires prolonged fixation on reading materials, so the effort necessary to read is particularly challenging if the child has visual deficiencies, such as oculomotor and binocular weakness.
For a person to read, it is necessary for the two eyes to be properly aimed at text, so the eyes must turn inward. For some children, the eyes will naturally turn outward; and this deviation — even if slight and unnoticeable to parents or teachers — means that the child must use excess effort and energy to maintain fixation on the reading material.
If a child is unable to aim his or her eyes inwardly easily, he or she may not see every word in sequential order. Instead, the child’s eyes may skip words or phrases, bounce around the text, and land at words sporadically.
A parent or teacher might notice that a student omits or adds words to make sense of a sentence, without actually seeing those words.
A child may be seeing double due to overlapping vision and experiencing headaches and eye fatigue as a result. But the child is often unable to express “seeing double” because he or she is unaware that the way they are seeing is not the correct way to see.
Vision therapy or vision training treats and quickly improves eye disorders by facilitating exercises and activities that strengthen existing weaknesses within the visual processing system.
Many children who participate in our vision therapy programs in Olney, Md. come to us having tested far below their current age levels in sensory skills, such as those related to oculomotor or binocular weakness. Upon completing therapy, they retake the initial screening tests with impressive results.
Read some of our vision training success stories to learn more about how vision therapy can help your child in reading. Contact us to learn more about how vision training can improve speed and accuracy of eye movements, visual concentration, letter reversals and other skills, making learning easier, faster, and more enjoyable.