It’s definitely a great place to start! That’s because 80 percent of information coming to your child is through their eyes. It’s quick and easy to find if there are problems in this area. When we do find issues — and it’s common — there’s a lot we can do to help.
Our eye exam checks many areas that could be causing vision-related reading problems. That’s because we focus on the link between vision and learning.
We will also check that your child has healthy eyes, can see clearly, as well as checking for myopia (short-sightedness), hyperopia (long-sightedness) and astigmatism. Issues in these areas can also affect reading.
Other important areas we check include your child’s focus, eye aiming, Children with reading issues often complain of sore eyes or headaches (forehead or sides of head). These are often signs of eye aiming and focussing issues. , eye teaming, and correct eye movements (called the oculomotor systems). Issues in these areas are common, and can definitely affect reading, writing, concentration and learning in general.
Another important area to be checked is the visual processing, or visual perceptual, system. This system determines how your child deals with the picture once it reaches the brain. In the brain, your child needs certain visual cognitive tools to use that picture for reading, writing, learning and thinking These are the visual cognitive skills that your child needs to read, learn and succed in school. Some of these skills include visual memory, visual discrimination, visual analysis, visual motor skills, visualisation figure ground, and form constancy. We find that poor readers often have poor visual spatial awareness. This can present as poor laterality (left and right awareness on child’s own body) and directionality issues (projection of left and right into space, e.g. the chair is on the right side of the table). Indications of these include reversing letters like ‘b’ and ‘d’. Often the child writes from the wrong side of the page, and writes in mirror writing.
. If your child doesn’t have these tools properly developed, it can really hold them back in success in school. Signs to watch for include poor concentration, reversing similar letters like b and d, difficulty learning to read, and poor memory of words already learnt.
If you’re concerned that your child is having difficulty reading, please contact us to see if we can help.