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Eyetracking problems?

(50 Posts)
SealLullaby Fri 19-Aug-11 20:21:48

DD is 8, above average at school, no problems have been flagged up. The thing that's concerning us is that her reading seems to have got stuck at the same level for the past year and she's now very reluctant to read anything at all. Her 2 classteachers have said they don't think there's a problem, as she has very good comprehension and her writing speed has improved. (Used to be very slow at writing, but she's left handed and very conscientious!)

DH and I have noticed that she often loses her place, muddles small words, takes words from above/below the line she's reading or repeats a line. I have googled this (bad idea, I know!) and the thing that came up was eyetracking problems.

So....any experiences/advice/suggestions gratefully received!

treas Fri 19-Aug-11 20:40:56

My own dd often muddles her sentences in the same way as you daughter and this tends to be because she is racing to get onto the next sentence and find out what is going on.

We have simple given dd a cardboard bookmark to place under a set of sentences ( three or four lines ). This has the effect of slowing dd down as she cannot see further down the page and makes her pay closer attention to the words that she can actually see in front of her.

My teacher used this on me when I was 8 as well as my sister!

SealLullaby Fri 19-Aug-11 20:53:11

Thanks treas...if it was her rushing to get on to the next sentence, I'd be delighted! The thing is that she hates reading, reads very haltingly and shows no interest in what she's reading.

I've looked at a couple of websites which list the symptoms of this eyetracking thing, which is also called convergence insufficiency, and it seems to match a lot of what she's experiencing.

I think I'll give the optician a call and see what they suggest.

orienteerer Fri 19-Aug-11 20:57:12

DS was like this for about a year when he was 7-8, he's now nearly 9 and seems absolutely fine (although he does actually enjoy reading), I wouldn't get too excited about it just yet?

treas Fri 19-Aug-11 21:00:39

A visit to the optician can't hurt and they may be able to solve the problem really easily!

Is it the type of books that your dd is reading that is putting her off reading? Or just the fact that she is having difficulty tracking the words?

plus3 Fri 19-Aug-11 21:11:23

Hi my Ds has poor bilateral integration with convergence insufficiency..... We discovered this when he refused to read smaller text in books despite being an excellent reader with good comprehension. He also has huge problems with concentration and it was suggested by school that he saw an occupational therapist as they suspected sensory processing disorder. At this point the school hadn't noticed a problem with his eyes, but the OT picked it up with her assessment.
We went to an Behavioural Optometrist who formally diagnoses and treats such problems with the eyes.

Ds (6 at the time) could not move his focus quickly between the White board & his page, so would give up & be silly. His tracking skills were poor, and he is over stimulated by the detail in pictures, colour, people moving around him in his peripheral vision.
The convergence was treated by using prism lenses and eye exercises. With a degree of success - we are due a review later this month to see if the success has been maintained.

Hope this has been helpful - Seek out a behavioural optometrist appointment.

plus3 Fri 19-Aug-11 21:13:08

Btw, an ordinary optician will not necessary spot this condition.

LynetteScavo Fri 19-Aug-11 21:30:56

I 2nd a behavioral optometrist, as already said, an ordinary optician will not pick up all problems.

IndigoBell Sat 20-Aug-11 04:36:22

Yes, you need to see a behaviour optometrist. It's a very common condition. We have had huge success with doing vision therapy at a behaviour optometrests.

There are a lot of very subtle vision problems a behaviour optometrests will test for and treat. My DD had many slight things wrong with vision - which together added up to a big problem. Daily eye exercises for about 6 weeks and they're all sorted now.

If you can't get to a behaviour optometrests, this website has some stuff you can do at home. But I highly recommend getting going to a behaviour optometrests.

And I also agree an Optician won't even know how to test for this.

SofiaAmes Sat 20-Aug-11 06:12:50

My ds had problems with his pursuits and saccades (sp?) and he had much the same problems you describe: missed small words, skipped lines and would complain that he was exhausted after reading just a line. It is treatable with eye exercises and most kids grow out of it even without the exercises. Ds grew out of it and is now 10 and the fastest most proficient reader in his year. And LOVES reading. A very good optician can pick this up (ours here in the usa did), but will not treat it. You will need a specialist for this. You can also google it, get information online and help your dd with exercises yourself until you do get referred.

SealLullaby Sat 20-Aug-11 15:31:33

Thanks everyone for your thoughts - I think I'll google some exercises for her eyes and talk to our optician who's very child friendly. I talked to DD today about it and she was quite relieved that there might be reason for her problems with reading - even she'd realised that things weren't quite right!

dolfrog Mon 22-Aug-11 22:08:36

Eye tracking issues, are part of Visual Processing and is visual processing disorders is one of the cognitive subtypes of dyslexia. You might like to have a look at my online PubMed Dyslexia and Visual Processing research paper collection and may be CiteULike Group: Developmental Dyslexia - library 437 articles

maizieD Tue 23-Aug-11 00:16:38

Have you read all of them, dolfrog (all of them; not just the abstracts)?

dolfrog Tue 23-Aug-11 04:01:21


I know that you will read none of them not even the abstracts as it would highlight your ignorance.
I have read all of the abstracts, and over the last few years i have read many of the full research papers. I have a also maintained contact with leading international researchers and discuss these and other wide ranging related issues.

From your posts on various forums you do not ever seem to read any scientific research, as it disproves your marketing hype and and your severe lack of understanding of how we learn to read, and the cognitive issues some may have developing these skills. You have never been able to provide any research to support your claims, only marketing hype to sell the products of your mentors.

When you can provide research carried our under the internationally accepted guidelines to support your marketing hype then may be you should present it, until then you should stop destroying the lives of millions with your marketing hype only designed to increase sales of various phonics programs and not in the interests of those trying to learn to read.

dolfrog Tue 23-Aug-11 05:09:59


I almost forgot, did you ever get around to reading any of the research papers in the three collections I created for you 2 years ago while in a discussion on a TES forum.
Dyslexia Free Full Text
Dyslexia Review Free Full Text
Dyslexia Review Research Papers

I have not added any more papers to these three collections in the last couple of years, as you never informed me that you have read all of the current content. If you would like to find more related PubMed research paper collections you could have a look at my three web pages listing my Pubmed research paper collections at
Communication and Neurology
Dyslexia and Related Issues
Invisible Disabilities

CiteULike is an online research paper sharing facility, create your own research paper library and share the papers in your CiteULike library with members of various special interest groups
So you may be interested in
CiteULike Group: Working memory for sentence processing - library 43 articles
CiteULIke Group: Language And Brain - library 931 articles
CiteULike Group: Special Education - library 115 articles

IndigoBell Tue 23-Aug-11 08:03:59

Dolfrog - eye tracking problems are not visual processing problems. Processing problems are cognitive problems. Eye tracking problems are physical and very easily corrected with daily physical exercises.

I'm sure some people think they have dyslexia when all they have is eye tracking problems. But the OP is smarter than that and wants to fix any underlying physical problems rather than complain for the rest of her life that she finds reading hard because she has dyslexia.

Vision problems don't cause dyslexia. Vision problems cause vision problems. But if you don't cure the vision problems you can be wrongly diagnosed with dyslexia.

My DS has visual processing problems and it's very different to eye tracking problems. Everything he sees is distorted, and frequently moving. Unfortunately I have not yet been able to cure this - but for some reason it doesn't stop him reading at all. He loves reading and can read for hours. Yet if you give him a maths worksheet and ask him to count how many apples are on the page he can't do it because 'they won't stay still' sad

SealLullaby Tue 23-Aug-11 14:51:35

Ummm...OK, wasn't trying to start a fight here, just get some advice on helping my daughter!

Have made appointment to see the optician to discuss the problem. I know she probably won't be able to do anything but may give me some pointers.

maizieD Tue 23-Aug-11 15:37:37

Oh, sorry, SL.

It's just that dolfrog and I don't see eye to eye about the teaching of reading...

He is a self proclaimed 'dyslexic' with APD and has told me in the past how very difficult he finds reading. So when he points me at lists of literally hundreds of research papers I wonder if he has managed to read any of them.

I do know that the few that I have read do not contradict anything I know about the teaching of reading. The cognitive psychology research which I am familiar with (all peer reviewed and published in peer reviewed journals) dolfrog dismisses as m'marketing hype'. As I, and the researchers, have nothing to market I fail to follow his 'reasoning'.

LynetteScavo Tue 23-Aug-11 16:07:22

Well, I tried to read this one, but it went over my head. confused

dolfrog Tue 23-Aug-11 17:20:32


Sorry about this dispute, but it is key to gaining the provision of the best approach to the teaching of reading in the UK. Which needs to be based on Scientific research, and not the whims of a particular teaching programs marketing hype.

Unfortunately maizieD is back to her old tricks, she has no peer reviewed research to support any of her claims, and she refuses to discuss any issues expect that phonics is the only way to teach reading. If she had she could add them to the CiteULIke research paper database, and share her library of research paper collection with other researchers.

If maizieD were to produce her peer reviewed research papers and links to the various internationally recognised journals then may be we could have a sensible discussion.

I am not a self proclaimed dyslexic, I have a diagnosis of Dyslexia, and I also have a clinical diagnosis of Auditory Processing Disorder which is the cause of my dyslexic symptom.

I use the term marketing hype as it sounds less emotional than disability discrimination which is what maizieD are promoting, but not recognising and openly discussing the needs of these who have various cognitive differences which can prevent them from using Phonics.

The current research of the last decade has been discussing the Lexical and Sublexical cognitive processes required to perform the task of reading, and phonics only addressed the sublexical process, and many are not able to access this process and can only access the lexical process, so maizieD is advocating a teaching approach that ignores the needs of those who can only access the lexical processes. The other problem is that her approach does not encourage children to use their lexical skills in fact it positively discourages them.

The whole basis of the maizieD approach is that all children are clones of each other and are all able to use phonics, which is a complete marketing myth, and the opposing marketing myth is the the whole Word approach is the only way to reach reading. The last decade of research has shown that children need be educated to use both cognitive processes to become effective readers. Which means that all teachers of reading need to be trained to understand and have access to both methods of teaching, so that they can begin to understand the cognitive learning needs of each child in their classes and be able to adapt their teaching methods to best suite each childs learning needs and provide the best education for the children in their classrooms.

dolfrog Tue 23-Aug-11 17:39:41


May be you should begin to read the research regarding the visual issues which can cause the dyslexic symptom, there are many. You really do need to begin to try to understand the underlying causes of these problems rather purely looking for quick short term fixes.

IndigoBell Tue 23-Aug-11 17:53:11

No thanks. I'd rather spend my energy and money fixing my DCs problems.

At the moment I'm very happy with the progress both DS and DD are making. It's increasingly looking like both of them are well on their way to being cured.

Unlike you and your family.

Certainly I expect both of them to be off the SEN register this year and to need no extra help at school at all. Which will be an absolutely massive achievement.

I'm not sure what you short term fixes you are talking about. Nothing I am doing is a short term fix. It is all permanent.

dolfrog Tue 23-Aug-11 18:08:45


The research paper you selected appears to have been put into the wrong collection, should be in the working memory collection which at the time was also serving a a wider memory collection earlier on. Some of my collections have resulted from collaborations with others in a wide range of areas of interest.

You may find these papers more what you were looking for,
Impaired filtering of behaviourally irrelevant visual information in dyslexia
Crowding and eccentricity determine reading rate
A dual-route perspective on eye movements of dyslexic readers

SealLullaby Tue 23-Aug-11 18:12:18

dolfrog - I'm really not sure why you felt the need to PM me on this matter?

I feel that there is another agenda to this thread now, so am bowing out gracefully!

cornsilx Tue 23-Aug-11 18:20:15

can I hijack please (sorry OP)
ds 2 (dyspraxic) is a very good reader and used to be a real book worm but since christmas he's found it really difficult to focus on a book when reading to himself in bed at night. He used to read at least a chapter a night and now struggles to get through a few pages. He doesn't have dyslexia.
Does anybody recognise this? Could this be eyesight or just due to his dyspraxia? He seems to be going through an early puberty - don't know if that could be related. confused

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