3 Signs That Vision Problems Are Behind Your Child's Reading Struggles
Do you have a child who is struggling with learning to read? Are you beginning to wonder whether vision problems could be the reason behind his or her difficulties? Learning to read can be a big task for any child. However, it can be especially frustrating and challenging when a child has difficulty seeing lines of text. Reading requires a level of coordination between the two eyes that may not be necessary for things like watching television or playing with toys. So it's possible that your child could have binocular coordination issues that haven't been evident until now. Fortunately, many of those issues can be resolved with glasses or contacts. Here are a few signs that you may need to get your child's vision checked:
He or she rubs his eyes while reading. Many kids rub their eyes when they're tired or emotionally upset. However, watch your child to see if he or she is rubbing his or her eyes while reading. He could have trouble maintaining his vision along lines of text. Or the words could be blurring together. Not knowing any better, he or she could believe that rubbing his or her eyes will resolve the problem. Ask why they're rubbing their eyes. If they say that their eyes hurt or they can't see the words, you should take them in for an optical exam.
They rely on tracking the words with a finger. It's common for many children to use their fingers to track the words as they read. However, most kids lose this habit eventually and are able to read even without their finger following along. If your child is dependent on tracking the words with their finger, they may have a vision issue. When reading, the eyes turn inward to focus on the letters. Your child's eyes may not turn inward sufficiently to do that, making his or her vision bounce from word to word rather than follow the line of text.
Closing one eye. Does your child close one eye while he or she reads? Again, this is a common sign of a binocular coordination issue, meaning that the eyes aren't working together properly to focus on the text. Your child is likely seeing blurred text when he or she tries to focus, which obviously makes it difficult to read. Closing one eye probably removes the blurriness. While closing an eye may be a temporary solution, the better long-term fix is to get corrective glasses or contact lenses.
For more information, visit an optical specialist in your area. They can test your child's vision and prescribe the necessary glasses or contact lenses. Also, consider visiting websites like http://www.aspeneyewear.com to see your child's vision correction options.