vision therapy exercises to do at home

3 Vision Therapy Exercises to Improve Common Reading Problems


Dr. Philip Nicholson’s Visual Learning Center
offers Vision Therapy in Olney, MD near Silver Spring.

Common reading problems in children can be traced to a number of possible causes, including learning disabilities, dyslexia, or attention deficit disorder. However, one cause that is often overlooked is vision. An undetected functional vision problem could be the reason a child is struggling to read.

Click here for instant access to a webinar on how undetected vision deficiencies could be the reason behind common reading problems in children.

The good news is, unlike other diagnoses, learning-related vision problems can be treated and improved significantly in a short period of time with Vision Therapy. Vision Therapy is a treatment program that includes procedures and exercises designed to enhance a child’s ability to control eye movement and visual processing.

At the Visual Learning Center, which offers vision therapy in Olney, MD, a developmental optometrist and team of trained vision therapists provide individualized intensive treatment programs designed to correct visual-motor and/or perceptual-cognitive deficiencies in children.

Visual processing skills and eye movement can be developed and reinforced by practicing a prescribed set of exercises and activities that a child will do under the guidance of a trained vision therapist.

Patients at the Visual Learning Center are encouraged to supplement in-office treatment with additional practice at home, which we’ve found to enhance our vision therapy success stories.

To be clear, vision therapy will not help your child with reading difficulties if your child does not have a vision problem The only way to determine if your child’s common reading problem is caused by a vision deficiency is to undergo a comprehensive vision screening by a developmental optometrist who specializes in functional vision care. If your child is diagnosed with a vision problem, your doctor will prescribe an individualized intensive treatment program.   

The following activities are vision therapy exercises are intended to supplement in-office care to improve common reading problems and learning-related vision deficiencies:

Discrimination Orientation Arrows (DOA) is a vision therapy activity that develops visual discrimination, which is a skill essential in determining correct letter orientation and preventing letter reversals among students with learning-related vision problems.

This activity seeks to mimic the process of selecting a direction for each letter while writing.  “Should d point right or left? Should b point left or right? Which direction should I write q? Which direction should I write p?”

Watch the video  below to see a demonstration of the Discrimination Orientation Arrows activity in progress. Download your own activity board here.


With practice, the outcome children enjoy from the discrimination arrows activity is that they begin to catch mistakes faster and more easily, reduce the frequency of errors, and dramatically boost their self-esteem.

The Stickman Activity aims to improve eye movement skills and visual processing skills.

Doing this activity can improve laterality and directionality, which are required for reading, writing and recognizing direction and orientation of words and letters. This activity can also improve figure-ground perception, which is necessary to distinguish an image or text relative to its context or background. Additionally, the activity can enhance visual concentration, which is a skill that allows the eyes to fixate attention for a long enough period of time to read and comprehend.

Watch the video below for a demonstration. Download your Stickman Activity packet here.


Letter Tracking Activities are designed to improve eye movement skills and visual processing skills, such as discrimination.

Visual discrimination is a perceptual process that involves the ability to correctly identify basic features of a visual stimulus, such as text. Discrimination enables a child to see and identify shape, size, orientation, and color.

Poor visual discrimination skills cause a child to skip letters or words when reading and have problems with laterality and directionality.

Watch the video below for a demonstration. Download a Letter Tracking Activity packet here.


The letter tracking activity is useful to reduce writing and common reading problems caused by poor visual discrimination.

For vision therapy in Olney, MD or Silver Spring, MD, contact Dr. Philip Nicholson’s Visual Learning Center to schedule an appointment.

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