The relationship between a behavioural optometrist and dyslexia is an interesting one, and at times a somewhat controversial one too!

Anything to do with dyslexia is one of the most controversial areas of health care and development. None of the experts can agree with each other on what constitutes dyslexia, and the best form of treatment.

However, the behavioural optometrist and dyslexia should have a very close relationship. This is  because in many instances a behavioural optometrist can provide a solution not just for dyslexia itself  It also addresses the many and multifaceted symptoms that are dyslexic child might produce.

So what does a behavioural optometrist do, and how can this possibly relate to the most common of learning problems in our society. Is there any common ground between the behavioural optometrist and dyslexia, and can we offer any solutions?

The Behavioural Optometrist and Dyslexia Treatment

Dyslexia treatment behavioural optometrist have a lot in common. Behavioural optometrist specialise in treating not only the eyes of children, but also the way in which they use their eyes to take information in. The vast majority of learning problems including dyslexia are visually based.  This is because over 80% of all information in the classroom is taken in through the eyes.

So what does a behavioural optometrist do that is different?

All optometrist will examine the eyes of children, but most optometrists, particularly those associated with the big chains, treat children like miniature adults. They do a good job of testing their eyes as far as deciding whether they are long or short sighted. They also can examine the eye health, but they do not go any further than this.

The behavioural optometrist performs all of the duties of a regular optometrist. They also looks at a number of aspects of visual perception and development. They look at how the eyes work together as a team, how they focus together, how much flexibility and stress the visual system is under while they are reading and a whole host of other tests.

They even look at how the brain visualises words for spelling.  Also how children process visual space (which relates to letter and number reversals) and how they actually move their eyes and control their eyes when reading.

What the Behavioural Optometrist Can Do for Dyslexia

It should be pointed out that in most cases the behavioural optometrist and dyslexia treatment does not involve use of coloured lenses, but rather uses spectacle lenses with optical powers to produce the same effect.

While dyslexia and behavioural problems are often reported by clinical psychologists, behavioural optometrist can actually have an effect on dyslexia and behaviour issues by reducing the stress the child is under when reading and studying. This in turn can reduce their frustration and improve their behaviour without undergoing any other treatments. In fact, I have given the appropriate reading lenses to many children and seen a decrease in frustration and an improvement in behaviour patterns within one month.

The frustration felt by the parents of a dyslexic child is often exacerbated by the fact that when they tried to obtain help for their child. Often all they get is a series of diagnoses rather than an actual form of treatment. For the behavioural optometrist and dyslexia children, there is a clear and easy to follow the path towards this treatment, with the appropriate lenses and vision therapy being available almost immediately.

Lenses and Vision Therapy

While lenses can cause a child to concentrate more effectively and for much longer and decrease frustration, they will not solve all of the problems associated with dyslexia. For example, you cannot put glasses on a child and expect them to spell better, or to start writing letters forward rather than in reverse. Any claims along those lines would certainly be bogus!

However, the behavioural optometrist combines lenses to relax the muscles in the eyes and cause the child concentrate more effectively with the appropriate vision therapy.  This vision therapy can train the visual skills that are lacking in the child’s development.  This can help dyslexia and its associated problems can often do this in a matter of months rather than years. The great news is that this does not involve drugs, medication or years of behavioural modification.

It also doesn’t involve coloured lenses that are socially unacceptable! Behavioural optometrist offers a treatment that is socially acceptable, targeted at the specific skills needed for learning and out of the way usually within 6 to 9 months.

This makes a trip to the behavioural optometrist an absolute must for every dyslexic, diagnosed or suspected. In my area, I even bulk bill most patients, meaning that most young dyslexia patients can be seen at no charge to the parents.

This is why after 30 years of practice, I believe that the relationship between behavioural optometrist and dyslexia is a strong one.  It can offer real and long-lasting improvement for children with learning disorders. This should provide peace of mind for parents, and something positive they can do to help their child rather than just getting another diagnosis and another label!

So while there are no specific dyslexia optometrist, the behavioural optometrist and dyslexia have always and continue to have a close relationship.

Many parents ask, “Where can I get my child’s eyes tested?”, and this is particularly important question.

While you can get your child’s eyes tested all over the Sunshine Coast, you will not get testing that is specifically designed for children. In fact, most optical stores on the Sunshine Coast treat children like miniature adults.

However, behavioural optometrists like myself at Eye CU Optometrists believe that children need to be closely examined in a special and unique way.

 

What to Look for When I Get My Child’s Eyes Tested?

 

You can walk of the street anywhere and get should child’s eyes tested, but this does not mean that it is the best testing available.

A behavioural optometrist has usually spent many years examining the eyes of kids, and the bulk of the patients they see are in fact children.

This means that they can devote extra time and have bought extra and specialised equipment specifically designed to examine your child’s eyes, especially when it comes to questions of learning difficulties.

The average eye test will look at the seeing ability of your eyes, whether your eyes a longsighted, short sighted or astigmatic, and that will look at the health of your eyes.

In most cases, this is nowhere near enough to establish whether your child is eyes are affecting their school performance.

A behavioural optometrist such as myself goes far beyond the normal eye test, with a battery of tests for you child’s eyes including specialised focus and eye teaming tests, 3-D vision, colour vision and reading tests, just to name a few.

 

After You Get Your Child’s Eyes Tested, What Then?

 

The question you need to ask yourself as a parent after, “Where can I get my child’s eyes tested,” is, “What type of solutions can you offer?”

Most optometrists have a range of spectacle lenses that they can use to help your child see more effectively, if that is the problem.

However, behavioural optometrists use specialised lenses to support your child’s focus and eye teaming when they are reading, which can often improve their concentration and their learning ability.

Most optometrists, including many so-called behavioural optometrists, limit their treatment to a pair of glasses. However, if your child has learning difficulties or dyslexia, a pair of glasses will not satisfy all of their needs.

Reading glasses or progressive lenses for reading a fantastic for improving a child’s concentration. For some children this is enough, but for many children with learning problems they may be concentrating better, but they are not performing better all learning more effectively.

That’s where having extra modes of treatment like vision therapy becomes a powerful weapon in the fight against dyslexia.

There is no magic involved in vision therapy, but behavioural optometrists realise that if we train the eyes to work more effectively, move more effectively and team together more effectively, then we can begin to have huge impacts on a child’s learning.

But we don’t stop there I have designed vision therapy that can not only help with the teaming and workings of the eyes, but can affect the way the brain takes in and interpret information through the eyes.

So with the right training and vision therapy, we can help hand eye coordination for writing, left right awareness to stop kids writing backwards, and we can train visualisation to vastly improve spelling ability.

So if you find your child falling behind at school, or if you are concerned with their learning ability, then it’s not just about getting an eye test, it’s about getting the right eye test.

So if your child has learning disabilities or dyslexia, and if you are asking, “Where can I get my child’s eyes tested,” the answer must involve a complete and comprehensive assessment by a behavioural optometrist.

kids get excessively tiredWhen your kids are starting at school, there is always going to be a degree of tiredness at the end of the day, but what do you do when kids get excessively tired?

Towards the end of a term I tend to get a large number of children in grades prep through three who seem excessively tired at the end of the day of school. I notice that these crop up particularly towards the end of the term, because they have been keeping up the pace from long time.

Frequently I have parents tell me that they think their child is tired because they not drinking enough water, and while that may be so in some cases, my experience is that the most frequent cause of tiredness in young children at school is related to bed eyes and vision.

Poor Focus Can Make Kids Get Excessively Tired

One of the most frequent causes of tiredness in children at school has to do with a focusing system. What many parents do not realise is that you can have a child who was neither long or short sighted, and that seized 20/20 or 6/6 vision, which is considered to be good vision.

In fact many parents have taken their child to an optometrist and been told exactly that… Your child is not longsighted and they have good vision, therefore there eyes are fine.

I see many frustrated parents who are asking the question, “Why is my child so tired at the end of the day?” They have had an eye test and think they have covered all the bases, but most often eye focus and eye teaming have been overlooked.

As a behavioural optometrist, I spend extra time looking at the way the two eyes focus together and how they team together, because these are important in a child’s learning. I run extra tests specifically to examine these areas, and most often these are the culprits when it comes to the times when kids get excessively tired.

If your child is returning from school very tired, if they’re failing to concentrate on their home work, struggling at school or even putting themselves to bed early, then the probability that your child has a vision problem goes beyond mere seeing is very high.

The bottom line is, if you want your child to perform at their maximum potential in school, they need to not be getting excessively tired, especially in the first three or four grades of school.

So if the kids get excessively tired after a day of school, the best thing to do is to get their eyes tested with someone who knows and relates well to children, and who has studied the effects of stressed out focus and eye teaming systems.

You also need to look for a practitioner who not only relates to your child, but can sit and talk to you about what your child is facing, and how it relates to their school performance.

Above all, do not overlook the effect that excessive tiredness can have on your child’s learning and school performance.

The treatment for this type of condition can be a simple as a set of reading glasses or as complex as a programme of vision therapy, but both of these could see your child concentrating better and being less fatigued towards the end of a day at school.

When kids get excessively tired after a day at school, especially when this is increasing towards the end of the term, the best thing to do is to get their eyes properly tested and make sure that there is no focus or eye teaming problem to be dealt with.

Poor Focus and Eye Teaming Can Make Kids Excessively Tried, but we can help!

 

The Shortsighted Epidemic

Short sighted spectaclesWe are facing shortsighted epidemic, but most optometrists are short sighted in that they don’t even recognize the epidemic.

This epidemic is affecting children between the ages of five and 20, and is directly dependent on the amount of close or sustained near work that they are attempting. The reason this epidemic is happening is because of the rise of small screens, especially iPods, iPads and smart phones.

Children tend to go short sighted when they are doing a lot of close work, and particularly if their parents are also shortsighted. With the rise of hand-held devices and laptops, children are spending an exorbitant amount of time focusing on these near tasks, often not looking up at a distant object for hours at a time. Whether it be texting friends, studying or playing intense computer games, many children are locking their focus on screens for hours at a time without taking any breaks.

This amount of intense concentration and focus on a task is causing a rise in short sightedness, where the distance goes blurry but reading and close work is less stressful and easier.

How to Fight the Short Sighted Epidemic

Many eye care professionals simply increase the power of a child’s distance glasses year after year, but behavioural optometrists like myself are not happy to do this. There are some steps that you can take to fight the shortsighted epidemic, with the planned that we limit the growth of short sightedness your child, hopefully keeping them out of full time glasses for their entire life.

Firstly, place limits on the amount of close work that they do, especially on small screens. When it comes to study, Internet surfing, Facebook, texting and especially gaming, make sure that they take five minutes off every half an hour. In addition, remind them to look away from the screen and get a distant object clear at least every five minutes.

Secondly, make sure that your child is fitted bifocals rather than conventional single vision distance glasses. Bifocals have a proven track record of reducing myopia, and the key in our treatment of the condition.

Finally, download my special myopia reducing vision therapy package and start doing the right eye exercises regularly. This contains eye exercises that can be incorporated into your child’s daily routine, as well as specific exercises that you have to set time aside for

If you take the time to stop short sighted epidemic now, the long term aim is to keep your child out of glasses for distance where long into the future. This aim is possible, but you need to act early and be consistent in dealing with the condition. With a little bit of effort, you can save your child from the shortsighted epidemic.

Testing a young childI am often asked if it is possible to do an eye test for kids under 3 years of age. As a behavioural optometrist, I’ve done this many times, but the prospect of examining the eyes of a child under three years of age is daunting for many eye care practitioners.

Problems in Doing an Eye Test for kids under 3

One of the major problems you face when testing a very young child is that they do not know their letters, so establishing how well they can see has to be done differently. While there are different approaches to this, from a tumbling letter E to various forms of picture charts, I have designed a special chart using simple shapes which has proven to be an effective way of judging the singing ability of young children.

The next hurdle for an optometrist in an eye test for kids under 3 is that young children cannot judge differences with the same competency that older children or adults. For this reason it is impossible to do a standard test on a young child, asking them, “Which is better, number one or number two?”

While modern technology has provided instruments like auto-refractors which can provide an estimate of a child’s prescription, most behavioural optometrist like myself prefer to use an old, hands-on method which gives us a unique opportunity to look at the focusing ability while we estimate prescription. This instrument is called a retinoscope, and while most optometrist know about it very few are able to use it effectively because they have very little practice! After seeing thousands of children almost daily for the last 20 years, I have definitely had my fair share of practice on this specialised instrument!

The third problem in doing an eye test for young kids 3 and under is the treatment becomes much more difficult. If glasses are required, we will often require specialised frames and lenses to do the job properly. My team and spend a lot of time researching and obtaining these specialised frames and lenses at inexpensive price for our patients.

I also have available and extensive array of vision therapy, which can be adapted for very young children and can help to overcome vision problems before they have a serious effect on learning. While this may be an easy thing for me to apply for even young children, it is because of years of experience and expertise but I’m able to do this. Conventional optometry can offer little for young children other than a pair of glasses, which commonly fits badly and is often easily broken.

If your child has never had an eye test or if you are concerned that they are delayed in their learning or other growth milestones, then it is possible to get an eye test for kids under 3 if you take your child to a behavioural optometrist who has specialised in taking care of children’s vision for decades.

Best eye test for children on the Sunshine CoastIf you have a child you may be looking for the best eye test for children in your area.  Before we consider this, we need to recognize that children are not miniature adults, but rather need to be tested with the right instruments in a way that is designed exclusively for their eyes, while it centers on how they use their eyes in the classroom.

Most Sunshine Coast optometrists are great at testing adults and looking for ocular disease, but an eye test for kids is a completely different situation.  Kids don’t always process visual information the same as adults and their method of dealing with the pressure and stress on their vision is completely different, especially when we consider how much time they currently focus on near tasks like computers, tablets and smart phones!

The right eye test must include the standard tests like measuring their prescription (whether they are farsighted, nearsighted or have astigmatism) and their ocular health, but any eye test for children cannot stop there!

It is vitally important that children see a behavioural optometrist, and make sure that things like the focus, how the eyes team together, how they move across a page, convergence and 3-D perception are measured.  If the child has learning difficulties such as dyslexia, further tests can be done dealing with how the child takes in and processes the information they obtain via vision.  This includes visualization, direction skills, coding and sequencing.

This is why a behavioural optometrist like myself does more in an eye test for kids than any other optometrist, and why I use not only special lenses, frames and glasses but also offer exclusive, specialized exercises called vision therapy to help them, which centers on learning.

So on the Sunshine Coast or anywhere else, the best eye test for children may not necessarily be the nearest!  My patients travel from far and wide to have their vision exam, because they know that I will work hard to offer them ways to treat their presenting problems, while helping them save money on the frames and glasses we offer. This is especially true for learning disabilities where I use special techniques that centers a child’s specific vision needs when learning, and also in myopia or short sightedness treatment, where keeping children out of full time glasses is a priority.

So if you care for your child, don’t just get a regular vision exam or check up!  Visit a family behavioural optometrist and get the best eye test for children in your area.

vision therapy for childrenVision therapy for children has long been looked to as a possible solution to learning disabilities.  However, there are various types of vision training for children, some of which are more traditional and others which are cutting new ground in their development.  Forward thinking behavioural optometrists are finding that employing both of these styles of tasks is seeing major improvements in kids with learning disabilities.

Traditional Vision Therapy for Children

Traditional treatment for the eyes and vision tends to centre on techniques that improve measurable characteristics of the eyes in the consulting room rather than the brain.  These may have a positive effect on a child’s ability to learn, but at times they may not directly correlate to an improvement in how they learn in the classroom.

Included in these types of vision therapies are focus, eye coordination, convergence and some eye movement training, which certainly can help but may not necessarily be translated into increased school performance.  That is not to say that they do not have value, and in optometry terms we can actually measure improvement, but the point is that these types of eye exercises may not necessarily improve results.

A New Breed of Vision Therapy for Children

There is a fresh and exciting change in visual therapies for kids which are aiming to have a more direct effect on how they learn rather than a change in their eyes alone.  These new training ideas revolve around techniques which they use directly in their learning experience, and they are tailor made for children with learning disabilities.

These newer treatments target things like eye movements, to improve the flow and expression of reading, visualization, to increase the ability of children to learn new spelling words and other developmental areas such as coding, sequencing and directionality.

This type of program for children is yielding real results by influencing both vision and the brain and increasing the classroom performance because they are developing or coaching the actual skills kids need to perform well in their education.

Combining Both Gives Children the Best Vision Therapy

Simply training visual skills may help a child to perform better, but if the more traditional aspects of therapies are ignored, the fundamental vision problem will limit improvement.  Therefore, the best approach is to combine both aspects of the treatment for children so as to gain maximum improvement for the eyes both in the optometry office and the classroom.

I believe that any child struggling to learn needs to have a complete behavioural optometry assessment to ensure that any underlying visual problems are dealt with.  Treatment of such problems might include reading lenses or the more traditional vision therapy for children.

Beyond this, the newer style of therapies for kids could hold the key for real and sustained improvement.  By targeting the skills they use in the classroom, we are able to quickly develop the tools a child needs to learn and improve rapidly.

And after all, this is what most parents want.  A change in the optometry office is good, but an improvement in school results is what matters most, and this can definitely be helped by using the right vision therapy for children.

Learning Disabilities DyslexiaLearning disabilities dyslexia and reading problems of various types are on the increase in our classrooms, and teachers are almost powerless to combat this phenomenon!  There is hope for parents, however, because many of those children diagnosed as dyslexics can be helped as this article will outline…

What is the Difference Between Learning Disabilities Dyslexia and Other Reading Problems?

One of the problems you face when considering learning disabilities dyslexia and other reading disorders is that there is often no stable, universally agreed definition for the conditions.  What one expert calls dyslexia, another calls a reading problem, and when you combine them all they add up to learning disabilities!  So, because so many use the term dyslexia, I find it easier when talking to my patients to divide dyslexia into two types: learning disabilities dyslexia and true or brain dysfunction dyslexia.

Dyslexia in its traditional sense, is a much more specific condition than a simple learning disability, involving some form of brain dysfunction and, unlike the other type (learning disabilities dyslexia), it cannot be easily overcome.

True dyslexia occurs in an inner part of the brain and, although some colored lens therapies seem to help in a few cases, dealing with an actual dysfunction within the brain is a very difficult task indeed!

Should You Just Cope with Learning Disabilities Dyslexia?

Unlike the dysfunction mentioned previously, learning disabilities dyslexia is more a dysfunction of the processing of information coming to the child through the visual system, and as such is not a true case of dyslexia at all.  The brain is fine, but the processing and understanding of visual input is the culprit.  This is not a true dyslexia, but is often diagnosed by educationists as dyslexia.

The really great news is that this type of problem can be aided by easy to apply techniques.  In most of these cases, the visual skills that most children have developed to help them process information and interpret and understand their reading material are underdeveloped, and this is great news for parents because, unlike traditional dyslexia or word blindness, we can easily do something about this!

So, unlike brain dysfunction dyslexia, learning disabilities dyslexia can be positively influenced by anything which can improve or develop the visual skills needed when reading, thereby greatly improving reading ability.

This is not theory, it is fact because I have worked for over 25 years overcoming learning disabilities dyslexia which others have said is something the child must simply learn to cope with!  The fact is that skills like eye tracking, focusing, eye coordination, visual memory, sequencing, laterality coding and the like can be easily improved using special techniques.

Vision Therapy Will Help Learning Disabilities and Dyslexia?

Using Vision Therapy, which is targeted vision exercises and activities (many in the form of games), we can actually see real and measurable improvement in a child’s reading ability.  And this can be done at a fraction of the cost that many other types of learning disabilities treatment cost, from the comfort of your own home!

So check out the best vision therapy online for a cost effective and powerful way of improving your child’s reading ability and learning problems.  If your child has been diagnosed with learning disabilities dyslexia or reading problems, there is a way you can help them today!

Vision Therapy ActivitiesVision therapy activities are used by Behavioural Optometrists around the world to help children develop their visual skills.  The aim is not so much to perform certain tasks in an office, but rather to help the child with learning disabilities or visual dysfunction and to aid them as they learn and develop through their schooling.

The big question is, “Do vision therapy activities actually work?”

What are the Vision Therapy Activities?

Concerned parents are always looking for ways to help their children, especially if their child is struggling at school.  Yet many so-called experts debate the effectiveness of vision therapy activities, without knowing what these activities actually entail!

As a behavioural optometrist for over 25 years, I have successfully used vision therapy activities to modify both the measurable visual performance of children and also their performance in the classroom.  However, I recognize that some activities suggested by optometrists hold little value for improving the school performance of children, even if they change our measurements.

Claiming that therapy activities do not work is like claiming piano lessons don’t work!   We should not write off the entire profession because somebody did vision therapy activities and did not get a result.  I failed my piano lessons, yet clearly they seem to have worked for Billy Joel!

Why Most Vision Therapy Activities Cannot Fail!

There are definitely types of activities that cannot fail, and these are similar to guitar or piano lessons in that they teach children the skills they need to perform well in school.  What skills am I talking about?

I use vision therapy to train skills like eye movements and tracking, eye coordination and focus, visual memory for spelling, directionality for letter reversals and well known skills like sequencing, coding, etc.  These are used every day by people as they learn, and if they are underdeveloped for any reason, they the child is likely to suffer a learning disability.

These skills are developed naturally by school and learning activities over time, but what happens if they do not develop until Grade 8?  You have a child who might be very bright verbally but cannot read, write or spell very well.  They most often don’t have dyslexia or brain damage, they most often have simply failed to develop the skills they need to do the job properly.

Activities which concentrate on the visual skills every person in every culture uses to learn and read will definitely help a child with learning disabilities.  In fact, they simply cannot miss!

Vision therapies which focus on developing these essential visual skills almost always see improvement in a child’s learning ability.  In the same way that piano lessons will improve both a novice player and an expert, getting these skills right can have a major effect on a child’s ability to learn.

The great thing is that developing these skills is fun and enjoyable for the child!  I have produced activities which kids love doing, find challenging yet not overwhelming and have a fantastic success rate for helping children with learning difficulties.  They’re not weird, not boring and take around 6 months to help a child reach their full potential.  They don’t teach a child reading, but they provide the skills that child needs to be taught reading quickly and effectively.

Those which focus on developing the needed skills can be a powerful tool for helping your child learn more effectively.

 

Can Home Vision Therapy Help Learning Disabilities?

 

Vision therapy is becoming a popular way of helping children with learning disabilities.  The main problem with them is that they are prescribed by behavioural optometrists and are often very expensive (sometimes thousands of dollars).  They also often involve multiple and frequent trips to the optometrist to use sophisticated equipment.  Some simple activities are done at home, but questions are often raised about the effectiveness of home based therapies.

 

The Advantage of Home Therapies

 

I believe that home based therapy has several clear advantages over the in-office style.  Firstly, they can be done at any hour of the day or night, in any place in the world and do not require trips to the optometrist.  Secondly, they can be a lot less expensive because the valuable time of the optometrist or their assistants is not being used on a weekly basis.

But are they as effective as in office activities?

In some areas clearly they cannot be as effective because the advanced equipment is not available in your home. This is especially true for complicated eye conditions such as turned eyes or lazy eyes.  That being said, a simpler task performed every day is frequently more successful than a visit once or twice a week to an expert’s office.

The fact is that some therapies, notably those which help learning disabilities, can be easily and successfully done at home by parents, while others require greater expertise or equipment and should only be attempted by a behavioural optometrist.

So What Does Work at Home?

Some activities are extremely effective as home therapies, especially when it comes to learning disabilities and problems.  Tracking for example, which helps a child to move across a page correctly and not misread words or skip lines, is easily trained using home based techniques.  Visualization for spelling is another, as is directional training (to stop letter reversals), coding, sequencing and even focus and eye coordination.

As a behavioural optometrist myself, I have been effectively using these home based vision therapy activities to help children with learning disabilities for years and with the rise of the internet their effectiveness has become greater.

 

In my program I have utilized automatic emails to keep parents on track and gently “nag” them into keeping up their schedule of therapies.  This has been very successful and can be reset at any time, helping to keep parents on track and children doing enough vision therapy activities to have a positive effect on their school performance.  Again, doing a lesser activity every day is often more effective that a complex one weekly.

When it comes to children with learning disabilities, a home based series of vision therapy activities is one of the most effective ways of helping because parents can do the therapies daily and at any time that works for them and their family.  Using the right activities more often can train the skills that a child needs to perform better in school, and I prove this with my patients on a daily basis!

When it comes to developing visual skills for learning, home based vision therapy activities are among the most effective tools I know for helping children with learning disabilities.

learning disabilityIf you are struggling to help a child with a learning disability then the question of eye tracking when reading may have come up more than once.  Eye tracking refers to the ability of the reader to control their eye movements so that their eyes are pointing to the right place all the time when they are reading, and is frequently reported that a child with a learning disability also shows produced eye tracking ability.

What Causes a Learning Disability?

There are many possible causes of a learning disability, and poor eye tracking is known to be a possible contributory to it.  This is not to say that poor eye tracking or the inability to control eye movements effectively is the only cause of a learning disability, but it certainly can be partially responsible for a number of learning disability symptoms a child may display.

A learning disability has many causes, from brain difficulties and hearing problems right through to the area in which I work as a Behavioral Optometrist, the visual system!  Given that vision is the dominant sense used in the classroom, it follows that dysfunction in the visual system will often be a central cause in a child’s learning disability.

How Does Eye Tracking Contribute to a Learning Disability?

The control of your eye movements is an essential part of reading, so if a child cannot control their eye movements effectively, this can form the basis of a learning disability.

If your child is misreading small words, skipping lines and mixing up words, even though they know the words on the page, then they may have a learning disability that is centered around eye tracking.  If you find that they lose their place easily, and that using a finger under the words significantly helps their reading flow, then eye tracking is almost certain to be a culprit.

Reading with a ruler under the line or a finger under the words can help to relieve some of the symptoms a child with a learning disability may feel, but it does not solve the problem: it only provides a temporary solution to the learning disability!

How Can You Improve a Learning Disability Using Eye Tracking?

The great news is that, if your child has a learning disability in which eye tracking and movement plays a part, the situation is treatable!  I have been successfully reducing this type of learning disability for many years, using a combination of support lenses and, above all, vision therapy training for eye tracking.

Vision therapy consists of a series of exercises that you can do at home, wherever you are in the world, and see positive results in your child.  They are simple yet highly effective in smoothing out eye movements and allowing your child to track correctly when they read, thereby increasing reading speed and accuracy and even enjoyment!  These exercises have been clinically tested and proven to reduce misreading, line skipping and their losing place during reading , and they are a cheap yet potent way of seeing real improvement in your child’s reading ability, flow and concentration.

The right vision therapy targeting the visual skills necessary for reading could be the break through that you are looking for to help your child overcome a learning disability.