Eye Tracking Issues And Their Effect On Schooling

When I was younger, reading was a bewildering struggle. Words and digits danced chaotically across the page, making learning an exhausting battle.

It wasn’t until a perceptive chemistry teacher noticed my repeated number reversals—writing 23 as 32—that I was encouraged to seek an eye examination. Unfortunately, the examination assessed only my ability to see, not how my eyes moved. I needed a behavioural optometrist, not just an optician.

As a Specialist Dyslexia Tutor, I now see many of my students experiencing similar difficulties. This has encouraged me to understand more about eye-tracking issues and how to support those affected.

Do you recognise these signs in your child?

• Skipping words or entire lines while reading.

• Using their finger as a guide to keeping their place.

• Becoming quickly fatigued from reading.

• Suffering from blurred or double vision after reading.

• Struggling with activities that require good eye coordination, like catching a ball.

What can be done?

The good news is that effective support is available:

Vision Therapy

Specific exercises can improve eye-tracking skills dramatically.

Assistive Technology

Reading guides and coloured overlays can help maintain focus on the text.

Classroom Adjustments

Implementing larger text and more space between lines can facilitate reading.
With the right support and timely intervention, children with eye-tracking issues can successfully overcome their reading challenges.

I advocate for early screening and assessment, a simple step that can prevent unnecessary challenges.

If you are concerned about your child’s reading abilities, a consultation with a paediatric ophthalmologist or a behavioural optometrist can be invaluable, providing reassurance and a clear path forward.

Remember, every child deserves the chance to read comfortably and joyfully.

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