Eye tracking issues without dyslexia/reading difficulties

(11 Posts)
vvviola Tue 25-Mar-14 03:27:46

We've been concerned about the way DD1 looks at tv, talks to us when she's in the car for a while - she turns her whole head and body to the side and looks from the corner of her eye. Vision tests at school and at the eye clinic came back as fine, but I still wasn't happy, so I took her to the GP today, wondering if maybe there was a hearing issue instead.

GP reckons she has eye tracking difficulties and has recommended seeing a particular optometrist near us. I have no problem with that - she has an appointment for Monday.

BUT - everything I read about eye tracking problems both on this optometrist's site and generally online seems to equate it with dyslexia or difficulties reading, and it always seems to be framed in terms of helping children to learn to read. DD has no difficulties with reading, she has already reached the target that school has set for next December (NZ, so different school year) and is in the top group in her class.

I'm just wondering if anyone has experience of working with tracking issues when the focus wasn't on reading. Just so I have an idea of what to expect. Thanks!

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 25-Mar-14 03:37:42

my ds had issues with tracking and bi-lateral integration. he has AS and Dyspraxia, mild dyslexia though can read well. many dyslexics can read, so go with an open mind.
it was the occupational therpaist who found DS had problems.

vvviola Tue 25-Mar-14 08:39:02

Hmmm, I hadn't thought of it like that Vicar. I suppose in my head I had thought if dyslexia was a potential issue, then it would have been noticed, or she would at least have demonstrated some difficulty in reading.

I'm just hoping that the focus won't be on reading and issues connected with that - as even the person who made the appointment for her seemed surprised that it was GP who suggested it as opposed to a teacher/OT/other education related person.

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 25-Mar-14 09:16:57

How old is your dd? ds wasn't dx with dyslexia until 16. dd was 15 when she was dx, school never noticed with either of them. dd covered it well. school were very surprised when they did a test and found a problem. they told me they hadn't expected to at all. might be worth considering.

vvviola Tue 25-Mar-14 13:05:48

Until 15 or 16?? Gosh. Ok. I think I need to reasses my knowledge of dyslexia. And definitely approach this with an open mind.

DD is only 6. I'm beginning to think, with the various bits of reading I've been doing, that we were lucky to catch this young.

GreenGold Thu 27-Mar-14 12:38:52

DS (age 6) had quite severe tracking and convergence issues. Frustration at ball games, kept losing place when reading etc. DS told me his eyes didn't go where he wanted them to).I got nowhere with NHS routes (they kept telling me he was fine). We found a web based 'vision therapy' program (£70 www.engagingeyes.co.uk). We are probably half way through the program and he has improved hugely. Told me his eyes 'usually go where he wants them to'. Can't recommend it highly enough. The dyslexia 'bit' is that lots of dyslexics also have eye tracking and convergence probs. but you can have eye muscle probs without the dyslexia bit.

DaftMaul Thu 27-Mar-14 12:47:17

Ds does not have dyslexia but did find doing an eye convergence and eye tracking program really hard work. His reading age was also above age appropriate before starting the program.

I was also going to recommend Engaging Eyes. Lots of people have great results with it. It hadn't been developed when ds needed something, so we had to use a very much more expensive version.

ouryve Thu 27-Mar-14 12:49:39

I have eye tracking problems that are purely physical. A combination of muscle weakness (I do exercises for that, when I remember) and significantly lower visual acuity in my right eye than my, left, with the result that it simply doesn't find and focus on an object as efficiently because my brain's given up on it, to some extent (ie a true lazy eye). Until I got my varifocals, I knew it was really time for bed when I was seeing double. The problem got worse a few months after getting my varifocals because the near vision in my right eye wasn't corrected as well as my left eye, but having both eyes well corrected makes a big difference.

vvviola Fri 28-Mar-14 07:12:03

Thanks everyone, that's very useful. I'll keep that engaging eye programme in mind - although I think the optometrist we are taking her to has developed an ipad programme of his own.

And also, being in NZ, the cure for everything is "more sport" or "improvise": GP suggested taking up tennis (apparently due to the size of the ball it's very good for tracking issues), teacher suggested table tennis and using a laser pointer to make patterns on the ceiling and follow them with her eyes grin

We shall see how Monday goes.

DaftMaul Fri 28-Mar-14 22:11:16

I think the good thing about a program like Engaging Eyes is that it is graded and progress can be measured and seen by changing to different levels. You would not get the same with sports or following lights on the ceiling - although they may help.

spinnergeologist Fri 28-Mar-14 22:29:09


Don't worry too much about the dyslexia thing, it is not the all crippling problem some seem to make out. My husband has classic dyslexia and received support from a very young age. I have dyscalculia with minor dyslexia and dyspraxia and I had no real support until I got to uni. We both have masters degrees and career jobs, although we are totally useless at ball and console games. There is lots of stuff out there to help if it does turn out to be dyslexia.

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