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Visual Tracking Problem

(20 Posts)
Jerbil Fri 21-Oct-11 19:29:18

DS1 has just been for an eye test. The Optometrist said he may be short sighted so he has to go back for a further test for an accurate prescription.

But she did identify another problem to do with the tracking of his eyes. There is a 3 or 4 month waiting list (and is out of our area so apparently the PCT may yet refuse to refer).

I read on the Internet that this issue is quite common, and yet there's hardly anybody who deals with it? Is it really common?

Does anyone have any links or tips for exercises to help on this one?


yogabonkers Fri 21-Oct-11 21:56:35

i've never heard of it but will google as am very interested in visual difficulties.

IndigoBell Fri 21-Oct-11 22:45:44

Visual Tracking problems are really easy to fix.

You can either do eye tracking exercises yourself every day, or you can go to a behaviour optometrist who does vision therapy. ( We did it with DD and were very pleased)

Eye tracking exercises:

1. Move your index finger, at arms length, back and forth slowly and follow it with your eye.

2. Read the first word / letter of a line, then jump to the last word / letter, do for a whole page.

3. EyeCanLearn

If there is a behaviour optometrist near you I strongly recommend getting a proper eye test done by them, because there are a lot of subtle things that could be wrong - and fixed.

Jerbil Sat 22-Oct-11 10:14:58

Indigo: I can always count on you thanks :-)

I am a little confused because the Optometrist said that we can help the problem but not cure it.

I was wondering about the dyslexia thing. I've always thought it's a possibility for him. An answer that won't come till a year or two cos he's still 5. His psychologist has now said that this is the kind of subtle difficulty that the IQ test he did does not show up.

I will do those exercises you suggested. She told me not to use words or letters yet because it's too hard for him and most of the time he refuses to read with me anyway, so i'll leave the 2nd one for later ;-)

I live in Manchester and apparently the nearest specialist is in another NHS Trust albeit only 20 miles away. So I've said we're willing to travel. I've spoken to our GP and they will refer but have warned me the PCT may not allow it. He said he thinks it'll be OK, but we won't know for at least a few weeks, and then the waiting list is 3 or 4 months.

At least it's not as bad as the waiting list for OT; only 10 months to go!

Thanks again

IndigoBell Sat 22-Oct-11 20:15:44

But did you see an optometrist or a behaviour optometrist?

For some reason I don't understand vision therapy and behaviour optometrists are controversial, and no other eye specialist will recommend them.

Eye tracking problems are just due to weak eye muscles, which just need to be exercised to build them up.

moosemama Sat 22-Oct-11 21:08:11

Indigo, I was talking to ds2's consultant optometrist at his last appointment, about ds1's visual tracking problems and she said that in her opinion behavioural optometrists are more highly trained and up to date than normal optometrists, but the costs involved in seeing one are prohibitive for many people.

She was really interesting and explained all about how tracking problems are more prolific than people realise and that many children develop their own coping strategies, such as covering one eye, turning their heads so that their noses block what their reading from one eye or sitting as far away from the text as possible.

I've since noticed that ds1 covers one eye and puts the book on the floor or sofa and squats above it to read, so that its as far as it can be away from his eyes. He has been doing the index finger movement and jumping from left to write and reading he first and last word exercises himself over the past few months and I do think its helped, his convergence definitely seems better than it was.

She recommended that we try their orthoptists in the first instance and see if they can come up with a programme of exercises to help (apparently they have one lady who has a particular interest in these types of problems) before we pay out for an BABO.

I keep meaning to get him to the GP for a referral, but we have so many other medical appointments between us as a family, we never seem to manage it.

As with everything, its on my ever increasing to do list.

blueShark Sat 22-Oct-11 21:26:10

DS saw a behaviour optometrist the other day, we didnt pay anything, suppose nhs covered it. No issue with his eyesight, no tracking problems although I think one eye comes inwards at times but he was prescribed glasses to relax his eyes as he outs a bit of strain when focusing. A bit ling sighed but not a worry for now.

Jerbil Sun 23-Oct-11 00:00:12

DS1 saw an Optometrist. He was referred by School Nurse (at my request).
The Optometrist said he needs to see a Specialist Orthoptist. The specialist os not in our area though as apparently there aren't many about.

IndigoBell Sun 23-Oct-11 00:13:04

All I can say is that my DS saw an orthoptist on the NHS and he was not at all interested in DSs vision problems ( DS does not have eye tracking problems though - but he had many other problems including difficulties crossing the midline)

in fact he told me DS had no vision problems, and was very embarrassed when I showed him the private report I had done detailng his eye problems.

When we came back in 6 months having improved his problems, through exercises, he was still uninterested and thought most kids grew out of difficulties crossing the midline anyway.

We might have been unlucky, but that is why I can't recommend an othoptist - even though I know it is their job to be interested in how the muscles of the eyes work.

DebbieSolloway Sun 23-Oct-11 19:10:41

IndigoBell - Won't the INPP programme make the eye tracking problem go away?

IndigoBell Mon 24-Oct-11 03:15:35

Debbie - yes. We cured DDs vision problems through vision therapy and a behaviour optometrist - but we cured DSs vision problems through INPP.

Both perscribed similar exercises ( including the first word last word one described here) but vision therapy was tagertted just on vision. We did a range of tracking and focussing exercises every day for 5 weeks and that was enough to cute DDs problems.

All children who need vision therapy also need INPP.

DebbieSolloway Mon 24-Oct-11 07:41:51

What made you realize the child needed vision therapy?

Son's vision is 20-20. Odd thing is he just told me he can see better since INPP - letters are not blurry. Never knew there was a problem there.

IndigoBell Mon 24-Oct-11 16:15:00

I didn't know she needed vision therapy. I took her to a behaviour optometrist to see if she had Irlen syndrome. But she didn't.

Sounds like INPP is def working for your DS, then.

lechillycornsilk Mon 24-Oct-11 16:18:45

Indigo - can the visual perceptual assessment that occupational therapists carry out pick this up?

IndigoBell Mon 24-Oct-11 16:24:40

The behaviour optometrist tested:

Accomodation Rock

The OT tested:

visual discrimination
visual memory
spatial relations
form consistency
sequential memory
figure ground
visual closure

So very different smile

lechillycornsilk Mon 24-Oct-11 16:26:06

gosh yes very different! thanks for that smile
not sure what to go for now though!

IndigoBell Mon 24-Oct-11 16:30:30

The BO is testing how the eyes work physically, whereas the OT is more concerned with how the brain interprets what they eyes see.

I think it's best to start with how the eyes work, and then move onto how the brain interprets it......

But it also depends which is easier to access and how much they charge. I happened to have a BO not far away who only charged £75 for a full vision test. So that's where I started......

lechillycornsilk Mon 24-Oct-11 16:40:59

okay thanks - need to start looking about!

supermum98 Mon 24-Oct-11 17:20:48

My ds had tracking problems, couldn't track horizontally. We saw an orthoptist for free and she prescribed blue glasses (after a whole range of eye movement tests),which helped and also stilled the words on the page. He had to wear them for 4 months or so. Colorimetry is supposed to help a lot of eye movement problems. This approach is backed up by research, but I don't think behavioural optometry is, (though may still be worth exploring if all else fails). We have also used eye track a software package seen on BDA website, which exercises the eye muscles and helps improve tracking.

My ds also has visual percepual difficulties (like visual inattention, visual discriminiation, visual closure etc.) all part of visual processing, these are dealt with by OT. programme. Tested using the VMI and Motor free visual perceptual test.
The biggest thing that has helped him get round these issues, which impact on his reading, is to use enlarged print. Makes it easier to discrimminate different letters, start at large size and reduce as reading gets better and brain learns to read smaller print. His visual acuity is very good.
RNIB and NCBS have libraries where you can get enlarged print books. Also use aerial font and check what coloured background he prefers for reading. For visual inattention, use non busy books and expose only the line of print they are reading, so eyes arn't attracted elsewhere. Read in short bursts. Older books in schools don't necessarily use dyslexia friendly fonts such as aerial, beware of this as this can make a difference. Dyslexia friendly books such as Barrington Stoke, gr8 visually, really important to optimise books visually whilst learning to read, I found. Use good lighting. Hope this helps.

DebbieSolloway Mon 24-Oct-11 17:58:55

INPP is having an effect. Son, right handed, is now writing more and more on the left side of the page. At least he does not begin in middle of page.

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