More Than Just a Literacy Platform
Beginning about 5 years ago pediatricians started cautioning parents of kids with reading disorders to avoid ineffective and costly treatments such as vision therapy and to look instead for “proven education and language-based interventions”.
This year Pediatrics journal published another study that supports this advice. In research based on thousands of children aged 7 to 9, no evidence was found for an association between specific learning disorders with impairment in reading (dyslexia) and vision abnormalities. The researchers concluded that there is no evidence that vision-based treatments would be helpful for children with severe reading impairments.
Pediatric ophthalmologists explain: “Children with dyslexia often lose their place while reading because they struggle to decode a letter or word combination and/or because of lack of comprehension, not because of a “tracking abnormality.’ ” (Vision Therapy, American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus website)
Especially when you are worried about your child it is not hard to be fooled by “pseudo-scientific” jargon!
The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) has a fact sheet designed to help parents “critically evaluate programs, avoid scams, and move forward toward providing instruction that will truly help…”. Lexercise is a corporate member of IDA and Lexercise therapy meets and exceeds IDA standards.
If you are worried about your child’s reading, spelling and/or writing the free, online Lexercise Dyslexia Screener is a good place to start. If your child struggles to read the single, large-font words on this screener you can be pretty sure it is not due to their vision!
Sandie is a speech-language pathologist with more than 30 years of experience in the private practice sector. She is Visiting Assistant Professor of Communication Sciences & Disorders at University of North Carolina Greensboro, and founder/owner of the Language & Learning Clinic, PLLC, a private practice in Elkin, NC, and Greensboro, NC, specializing in communication disorders, including disorders of reading and written language.
Sandie, I have been reading many of your posts since I found your website earlier this year. I am a former public school teacher with a master’s in reading and during my time at home while my children are not all school-aged yet, I am finally learning about how to teach reading using the Structured Language approach. My question here is have you heard about children who have trouble focusing their binocular vision and how this affects their reading? Would this be an instance when some type of vision therapy is needed? I had read about this problem before on the web but never encountered it personally or professionally until an acquaintance of mine approached me just last month about one of her children.