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Vision/Tracking Issues


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My six year old is reading, but he still makes a lot of mistakes. He struggles the most with small words, skipping them completely or reversing them. He also skips lines. If I encourage him to use his finger to track, he can't: his finger does not stay in the same place as he reads, often zooming past where he is reading or moving along an entirely different line. He rubs his eyes a lot while he's reading. I've taken him to two optometrists: one said he had a very mild astigmatism but didn't recommend glasses; the other said his vision was perfect. I still worry about vision issues, though. Should I let it go? Is there some way to help him with his tracking?

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My son had trouble with "crossing the midline" and worked on it in OT.  That helped with him skipping lines. 


It helped a bit with him following with his finger, but following with his finger also stayed hard for him.  It takes a surprising amount of coordination I guess. 


My son had really obvious problems with learning to sound out words, so that was our focus when he was 6.  When he was 7-8 is when this was showing up.


OT did help him. 


For us -- I did take him to a COVD.  He saw the same thing as OT:  my son's eyes "jumped" at the midline, and that is where he would lose his place. 


I think it is worth looking at dyslexia as in "how is his sounding out" b/c sometimes when that is hard, there is not energy left for other things. 


But in his case, he had other problems (handwriting) that led to an OT eval.  The OT said we needed to see a COVD to rule out some vision things she could not screen for or address.  Those were ruled out.  The COVD said he or the OT could both work on my son's tracking issue.  He needed OT anyway and the OT seemed like a better choice for us for some logistical and child-friendliness reasons.


So that is how it went for us.


I think it can go 2-3 ways.  One, kids grow out of it, 6 is still young.  Two, more of an OT way, or the "brain training exercises" stuff.  Three, COVD. 


My son had always done a "gallop" instead of a "skip" which I thought he just liked to do, who doesn't like to gallop? 


But then all of a sudden he is 8 and learning to skip in OT, and I am going, "oops, maybe I should have noticed that." 


But it was nothing I had noticed before.  I think, too, he could skip about 2-3 times, but not several times in a row.  One time he came out very proud he had done 5 skips.  It was very hard for him to learn, but he can do it fine now. 



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