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Eye movements (saccades) are necessary for the physical act of reading and have been shown to relate to underlying cognitive and attentional processes during reading.
Good eye tracking is the ability to quickly and accurately move the eyes. Children with poor reading skills frequently show inaccurate fixation. Instead of the eyes landing instantly on the next letter or word, the eyes overshoot or undershoot, and the child loses his or her place. A corrective saccade needs to be made which slows down reading and causes comprehension to drop dramatically. If your child is great at telling you what a story is all about when read to but cannot do the same when he or she is reading, there is an eye tracking or other visual skill problem.
Developmental Eye Movement Test
See is you can complete the test below. Read the numbers from left to right as if you are reading a book. If there is a blank space continue across the same line to continue tracking. This exercise tests the eyes' ability to work as a team and concurrently with the brain to process the information. Give it a try.
Below are common symptoms of an eye tracking problem as published by the: The American Optometric Association Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG): Learning Related Vision Problems:
Signs and Symptoms of Ocular Motility Dysfunction
• Moving head excessively when reading
• Skipping lines when reading
• Omitting words and transposing words when reading
• Losing place when reading
• Requiring finger or marker to keep place when reading
• Experiencing confusion during the return sweep phase of reading
• Experiencing illusory text movement
• Having deficient ball-playing skills
Here at Yorba Linda Optometry and Beyond, a screening for deficient eye tracking skills are a part of every eye exam. If the screening suggests a problem, eye tracking skills are best diagnosed with a normed quantitative called the Developmental Eye Movement test. This is a quick 5 minute test performed in the office for no extra charge
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“I have seen so much growth in Kayla. She appears much less frustrated and seems more able to cope with frustrating situations. Last year she could not connect the dots to make a triangle to now being able to draw and microscope and it's parts from the board. She enjoys reading now and is doing adult connect the dot books. We used to spend hours on homework which was often not done correctly--to going to school all day and then math tutoring for an hour with no problems. She still struggles with reading and spelling, but on her last report card got all A's and 1B. She feels that the vision therapy has helped her be more successful in life (softball, school, etc). My personnel feeling is that Kayla's vision problems created a feeling of chaos or loss of control---she struggled with trying to control her life in a chaotic situation. Now she can make sense of the world visually, she is less angry, less stressed and feels more successful in life. Thank you for everything!”