If you know that your child can READ WORDS WELL BUT they LOSE THEIR PLACE when reading and are not as FLUENT as they should be, then read this.. .

(33 Posts)
noonar Tue 22-Feb-11 11:08:14

my dd is nearly 9 and despite having a reading age (when tested) much older than her actual age, she is not a very fluent reader. she hates reading allowed and tends to omit and substitute words on the page.

well yesterday she had a vision test. i dont just mean seeing if she can read letters from a certain distance- which she can. i mean a proper in depth vision test.

... it turns out that she has a tracking probelm, making it really hard to follow a line of text on the page.

it is very common for children to have undetected vision problems, even though their eye sight is generally good.

so glad that this has been identified relatively early as the impact of not seeing yourself as a good reader is pretty huge .

she is not getting reading glasses. suddenly, with the correct lens, her reading speed / accuracy doubled.

hope this is useful / interesting for somebody smile

Euphemia Tue 22-Feb-11 11:17:56

Did you take her to a regular optician?

My DD (8.6) shows similar symptoms, and I had just put it down to tiredness/lack of interest/poor concentration. blush

Did your DD have glasses already? Have they just changed the type of lens?

mrz Tue 22-Feb-11 11:20:52

Thank you for that.smile
you would be surprised (or perhaps not now) the number of times an eye /hearing test can solve reading problems. I always suggest to parents we rule out these simple causes before we look for bigger issues.
I have a mum pushing for dyslexia testing for her some who does just what you describe - we have done a basic screening which raises no concerns - then I discovered while talking to his father that he should be wearing glasses! When I asked mum (they are separated) she wasn't sure where his glasses were ... 7 weeks later they finally arrived in school hmm

noonar Tue 22-Feb-11 11:23:26

a proper optometrist. but at the opticians. she has never had glasses. she has 20\20 sight, but vision is different to sight. they can have perfect sight ie read bottom row of letters on chart, but still ahve visual diffs. i too thought she just needed to concentrate etc etc. think she also got short shrift from teacher for this sad

one thing for me that convinced me there was a prob is that she is a talented writer but not a bookworm at all. hardly reads for pleasure. something didnt seem right.

oh, and when she points to the words when reading it makes a really big diff as she is otherwise totally unable to keep her place. i know strategy this helps many younger children, but the diff was really marked.

noonar Tue 22-Feb-11 11:25:30

aaggh shOULD have said: 'NOW getting reading glasses'

IndigoBell Tue 22-Feb-11 11:48:59

Opticians don't test for eye tracking problems, and as far as I can tell it is one of the most common reading problems.

You need to go to a proper behaviour optomertist to get your child's eyesight tested properly.

My DD didn't have eye tracking problems, but loads of other problems with the muscles in her eyes (which 2 opticians didn't notice)

She did vision therapy (eye exercises) for 5 weeks, and totally cured all her vision problems.

(Nor do audiologists test for very common hearing problems like auditory discrimination problems)

So unfortunately, while it is very common advice to get your child's hearing and vision checked, it is very hard to do properly.....

Euphemia Tue 22-Feb-11 11:50:16

That's what confused me, Noonar! grin

I understand now.

So do I just walk into Boots opticians and tell them I want a depth vision test?

mrz Tue 22-Feb-11 11:52:53

it can usually be arranged through the school nurse/doctor

IndigoBell Tue 22-Feb-11 11:54:22

No! Walk into a behaviour optometrist and get a proper eye test done.

If you're not near any of those then go for a regular optometrist - not an optician.

IndigoBell Tue 22-Feb-11 11:55:35

mrz - the vision and hearing tests our school nurse does in Y1 certainly didn't pick up any of DDs problems......

Ormirian Tue 22-Feb-11 11:56:05

Really? That's interesting.

DS2 had a sight test at school a few years back but maybe it'e time for another.

Euphemia Tue 22-Feb-11 11:59:21

OK - thanks I will follow that up.

noonar Tue 22-Feb-11 12:08:32

thanks for the clarification and link about the whole optometrist/ optician thing.

i'm not totally sure about the qualifications of the person who assesed my daughter. its possibly that i could have found someone better qualified, having read that link. but he did find a problem...

IndigoBell Tue 22-Feb-11 12:22:34

If you are close to anyone who does it I highly recommend vision therapy. ( We went to Blackstones in Beaconsfield)

If not, just get her practising tracking her moving finger. Hold her index finger out and move it at medium speed from left to right.

Follow it 10 times, 10 times a day, for 10 days. And you should make a noticeable improvement to her eye tracking problems.

But the problem you describe is totally curable, and you should not be satisfied with anything less then a cure.

Once the optometrist found DDs eye problems he prescribed her bi-focal glasses. 5 weeks later at the end of vision therapy she no longer needed the glasses.

(Incidently anyone with these type of eyesight problems has a very high chance of also having retained reflexes....)

noonar Tue 22-Feb-11 12:27:44

indigo, thats very interesting...

one of those BABOs on your link is only 10 miles from me. what should i do now? go and see her? only just ordered the glasses...

we didnt learn any exercises or anything.

mrz Tue 22-Feb-11 12:29:05

nor in ours Indigo but if I raise concerns the school nurse is always willing to do a referral to the hospital optometrist

Euphemia Tue 22-Feb-11 12:38:21

Retained reflexes ...? confused

IndigoBell Tue 22-Feb-11 12:40:53

mrz - grin I guess it won't surprise you to know that my experiences with the hospital orthoptist and opthamolgist have been equally bad......

Noonar - if you can afford to go visit a BABO I think you should. I think they charged us something like £70 for the initial assessment, £20 for the glasses, and £250 for the vision therapy.

mrz Tue 22-Feb-11 12:43:45

no I'm not surprised just sad sad your children have been so badly let down by so many professional

IndigoBell Tue 22-Feb-11 12:47:23

Eupemia - google 'retained reflexes' there's quite a lot about it, and quite a lot of diff providers. this is who we are using to help both DS and DDs with very different problems....

(However they both had eyesight problems of this nature)

Retained Reflexes Therapy helps anyone who has retained reflexes (which are your baby reflexes which are meant to disappear and turn into adult reflexes - like the startle reflex, the grasping reflex, and the sucking reflex) - however they claim that there is a strong link between ASD, ADHD, dyspraxia, dyslexia and retained reflexes.

My DS has ASD (and vision problems and retained reflexes) and my DD has dyslexia (and vision problems and retained reflexes)

If you're not trained you would have no idea that your child (or you) had retained reflexes. They may or may not have one of the conditions I listed. Other symptoms are bed wetting, thumb sucking, high anxiety......

An OT can test for retained reflexes - but the NHS ones normally don't grin

noonar Tue 22-Feb-11 12:55:58

it makes me so angry that i, like so many other parents, have had concerns about my dd's vision for sometime. we then take our children to an optician (like i did 18 months ago) and get the all clear. and yet there is a problem with vision that hasnt even been tested for.

i then, by chance, happened to learn about this distinction between sight and vision, and had my dd re investigated.

i am far from well informed, but there is a scary amount of ignorance out there about something that affects our children's learning in such a fundamental way. as a parent, you might think that going to an optician was enough to get your child's vision assessed.

scary.

cpbp Tue 22-Feb-11 20:54:53

I can only second what has been said re behavioural optometrists; they are the only ones who can properly test/diagnose tracking issues.

My DS who is 7.5 is a very good reader but was always losing his place and found it hard to copy off the blackboard.

He wore glasses so I couldnt understand what the problem was until his new school suggested tracking issues. Lo and behold,we found a wonderful behavioural optometrist in North London and are starting vision therapy with her. We are based in SE London but could not find anyone closer.

Really optimistic about how much the vision therapy will help.

Saracen Tue 22-Feb-11 22:19:07

I don't know whether tracking problems are what my dd had. She could read individual words well but always lost her place and also said it was tiring to read normal-sized text with or without her glasses on.

It spontaneously resolved itself around her ninth birthday. Quite a few acquaintances have reported that their children suddenly found it easier to follow lines of text around this age.

As my dd was undiagnosed, I can't say whether her difficulties had the same cause as those of other children mentioned on this thread. I am just wondering whether there is any possibility that tracking problems might mean that a child is not yet ready to read, rather than being a permanent obstacle to reading?

I know nothing about the subject; I'm just curious whether this might be the case.

Elibean Tue 22-Feb-11 22:23:21

Very interesting - dd is 7, can read fluently but frequently loses her place. Its helped hugely holding a ruler, or blank piece of paper, under the line she is reading - but I've wondered about it. Like others, she's had a recent eye test (she said 'words go fuzzy sometimes' so I took her) but it was fine hmm

Optometrist next stop. Thanks.

Saracen Tue 22-Feb-11 22:26:01

By the way - and this may well be off-topic - it's well-known among those who teach chess to young children that the age at which they first manage to discriminate a diagonal on the chess board is variable. Luckily most children develop this ability by the age of four or so, and few children take an interest in chess before four. However, those children in whom this ability hasn't appeared before they start playing chess can't make their bishops behave for love nor money. It does seem to sort itself out eventually, however.

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