- Research Update & Overview
Impact of vision therapy on reading performance, and the role of visual function in dyslexia and reading disabilities.
- New - In Press (2009)
Visual Factors in Childhood Behavioural Disorders.
- American Journal of Occupational Therapy 2005
Visual function significantly distinguishes between children with and without reading and academic problems.
- American Optometric Association
The Effectiveness of Vision Therapy in Improving Visual Function.
- Archives of Opthamology 2008
New Research on Convergence Insufficiency.
- Archives of Opthamology 2005
Randomized Trial of Treatment of Amblyopia in Children Aged 7 to 17 Years.
- Archives of Opthamology 2005
Controlled Study Demonstrates Value of Professional Therapy.
- Journal of Learning Disabilities, Nov. 2003
Vision Therapy improves Reading Comprehension.
- Neuropsychologia 2007
Prisms throw light on developmental disorders.
- NeuroRehabilitation 2006
Oculomotor rehabilitation for reading in acquired brain injury.
- Strabismus, Dec. 2005
The Relationship between Convergence Insufficiency and ADHD.
- Journal of Behavioral Optometry 2012
PDF Format: Historical Perspectives on Auditory and Visual Processing
- Optometric Education 2011
PDF Format: Private Practice Residency in Vision Therapy and Rehabilitation.
- Optometry & Vision Development 2009
PDF Format: The Role of Optometry in Early Identification of Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Additional ReferencesCiuffreeda KJ The scientific basis for and efficacy of optometric vision therapy in non-strabismic accommodative and vergence disorders. Optometry 2002 Dec; 73 (12):735-62.
This article summarizes models of the accommodative (eye focusing) and vergence (eye teaming systems), as well as cure rates of vision therapy for problems with accommodation and vergence.
Research update on Visually-Based Reading Disability
Barry Tannen, O.D., FCOVD
Table of Contents:
- Effect of Vision Therapy on Reading Performance
- Effect of attention therapy on reading comprehension
- M-cell deficit and reading disability: a preliminary study
- Role of visual attention in cognitive control of oculomotor readiness
- The Impact of Vergence and Accommodative Therapy on Reading Speed
- Training Direction-Discrimination Sensitivity Remediates Reading Skills
- A comparative study of orthoptic treatment vs. conventional reading tutoring
- Eye movement problems in achieving readers: an update.
- Vision Deficits in Reading Disability/Developmental Dyslexia
- Visual control in children with developmental dyslexia
- Two visual motion processing deficits associated with reading skills deficits
- The magnocellular theory of developmental dyslexia
- Visual motion sensitivity and reading
- Monocular occlusion can improve binocular control and reading in dyslexics
- Poor binocular coordination of saccades in dyslexic children
- Visually-based temporal distortion in dyslexia
- The cognitive deficits responsible for developmental dyslexia
- Developmental dyslexia: the visual attention span deficit hypothesis
- Dyslexia: a deficit in visuo-spatial attention, not in phonological processing
- Coherent motion threshold measurements for M-cell deficit and reading
- Linkage among reading comprehension, visual attention, and magnocellular processing
- Making the link between dorsal stream sensitivity and reading
- Magnocellular visual function and children's single word reading
- The relationship between visual and auditory processing and literacy skills
- All developmental dyslexic subtypes display an elevated motion coherence threshold.
- Full Text including 350+ Citations
A. Effect of Vision Therapy on Reading Performance
1. Effect of attention therapy on reading comprehension.Solan HA, Shelley-Tremblay J, Ficarra A, Silverman M, Larson S.J Learn Disabil. 2003 Nov-Dec;36(6):556-63. State College of Optometry, State University of New York, New York, NY 10036, USA. email@example.com
Abstract: This study quantified the influence of visual attention therapy on the reading comprehension of Grade 6 children with moderate reading disabilities (RD) in the absence of specific reading remediation.
Thirty students with below-average reading scores were identified using standardized reading comprehension tests. Fifteen children were placed randomly in the experimental group and 15 in the control group. The Attention Battery of the Cognitive Assessment System was administered to all participants. The experimental group received 12 one-hour sessions of individually monitored, computer-based attentiontherapy programs; the control group received no therapy during their 12-week period. Each group was retested on attention and reading comprehension measures. In order to stimulate selective and sustained visual attention, the vision therapy stressed various aspects of arousal, activation, and vigilance.
At the completion of attention therapy, the mean standard attention and reading comprehension scores of the experimental group had improved significantly. The control group, however, showed no significant improvement in reading comprehension scores after 12 weeks. Although uncertainties still exist, this investigation supports the notion that visual attention is malleableand that attention therapy has a significant effect on reading comprehension in this often neglected population
2. M-cell deficit and reading disability: a preliminary study of the effects of,temporal vision-processing therapy.Solan HA, Shelley-Tremblay J, Hansen PC, Silverman ME, Larson S, Ficarra A. Optometry. 2004 Oct;75(10):640-50. Schnurmacher Institute for Vision Research, State University of New York, State College of Optometry, New York, New York10036, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract: BACKGROUND: This study examines the following questions: In moderately disabled readers, will temporal vision-processing therapy procedures that benefit reading comprehension, visual attention,and oculomotor skills ameliorate M-cell processing deficits as measured with coherent motion threshold testing? And will the results show a corresponding improvement in oral reading and verbal skills?
METHOD: A sample of 16 moderately disabled readers, evaluated in a study completed 6 months earlier,were retested with another form of the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test. Each participant wasadditionally tested for coherent motion, oral reading, and word attack skills. During the succeeding 6 months, fifteen 45-minute therapy sessions were administered once a week (as the school schedule permitted). After completing 15 therapy sessions, the initial testing procedures were repeated.
RESULTS: All four variables — namely, Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test, Coherent Motion Threshold Test, Gray Oral Reading Test, and Woodcock-Johnson Word Attack Test — revealed significant improvements after temporal vision therapy. Half of the 16 participants improved 2 or more years in reading comprehension, compared to no significant mean difference following the 6-month "control period" before the onset of therapy.
CONCLUSIONS: This research supports the value of rendering temporalvision therapy to children identified as moderately reading disabled (RD). The diagnostic procedures and the dynamic therapeutic techniques discussed in this article have not been previously used for the specific purpose of ameliorating an M-cell deficit. Improved temporal visual-processing skills and enhanced visual motion discrimination appear to have a salutary effect on magnocellular processing and reading comprehension in RD children with M-cell deficits.
3. Role of visual attention in cognitive control of oculomotor readiness in students with reading disabilities.Solan HA, Larson S, Shelley-Tremblay J, Ficarra A, Silverman M. J Learn Disabil. 2001 Mar-Apr;34(2):107-18. State College of Optometry, State University of New York, New York 10010, USA. email@example.com
Abstract: This study investigated eye movement and comprehension therapy in Grade 6 children with reading disabilities (RD). Both order of therapy and type of therapy were examined. Furthermore, the implications of visual attention in ameliorating reading disability are discussed.
Thirty-one students with RD were identified using standardized reading comprehension tests. Eye movements were analyzed objectively using an infra-red recording device. Reading scores of participating children were 0.5 to 1 SD below the national mean. Testing took place before the start of therapy (T1) and was repeated after 12 weeks (T2) and 24 weeks (T3) of therapy. One group of students had eye movement therapy first, followed by comprehension therapy; in the other group, the order was reversed. Data were evaluated using a repeated measures MANOVA and post hoc tests.
At T1, mean reading grade was 2 years below grade level, and eye movement scores were at about Grade 2 level. Mean growth in reading comprehension for the total sample was 2.6 years (p < .01) at T3; equally significant improvement was measured in eye movements (p < .01). Learning rate in reading comprehension improved from 60% (T1) to 400% (T3). Although within-group differences were statistically significant, between-group differences were not significant for comprehension or eye movements. Order of therapy (comprehension first or eye movements first) was not significant. Improvements in within-group scores for comprehension and eye movements were consistently significant at T2 and T3. Eye movement therapy improved eye movements and also resulted in significant gains in reading comprehension.
Comprehension therapy likewise produced improvement both in eye movement efficiency and in reading comprehension. The results support the notion of a cognitive link among visual attention, oculomotor readiness, and reading comprehension.
4. The Impact of Vergence and Accommodative Therapy on Reading Eye Movements and Reading SpeedGallaway M, Boas, M OptomVisDev. 2007 Vol 38(3):115-20
ABSTRACT: Background: Most studies investigating the impact of optometric vision therapy on reading speed and reading eye movements utilize ocular motility and visual processing procedures. Only one study has reported the impact of accommodative and vergence therapy alone on reading speed, but only with three subjects.
Methods: Six patients with symptomatic accommodative/vergence anomalies received vision therapy along with objective eye movement recordings before and after therapy. Therapy consisted of procedures to treat accommodative and vergence skills — no saccadic or ocular motor procedures were utilized.
Results: Each of the patients showed clinically significant improvements in reading speed and eye movement efficiency.
Conclusions: Accommodative and vergence therapy alone has the potential to improve reading speed and reading eye movements. Ocular motor therapy may not be necessary for some patients with accommodative/vergence disorders who also demonstrate reduced reading speed and poor reading eye movements.
5. Training Direction-Discrimination Sensitivity Remediates a Wide Spectrum of Reading SkillsLawton, T OptomVisDev. 2007 Vol 38(1):37-51
ABSTRACT: Background: This study investigated whether timing deficits in the motion pathways represent a core deficit in inefficient readers who are dyslexic.
Methods: Inefficient and efficient readers in grades 2 and 3 in four public elementary schools were studied. Component literacy skills were measured before and after training. In the training task of interest, participants judged the direction of motion (left vs. right) of a vertically oriented sinusoidal grating, surrounded by one of five different background frequencies. The threshold contrast for direction discrimination was measured.
Results: Direction discrimination improved the most for inefficient readers following training. Moreover, following training the time to complete the task decreased significantly, showing that the timing of direction discrimination improves, as does the gain. For inefficient readers, training on direction discrimination resulted in significant improvements in reading efficiency and fluency. Inefficient readers in control conditions showed minimal improvement.
Conclusions: Significant improvements in reading performance were found following training on direction discrimination. This study provides evidence that timing deficits in inefficient readers represent a core deficit.
6. A randomized prospective masked and matched comparative study of orthoptic treatment versus conventional reading tutoring treatment for reading disabilities in 62 children.Atzmon D, Nemet P, et al. Binocular Vision & Eye Muscle Surgery Quarterly, 8(2):p. 91-106, 1993.
Abstract: Controversies remain whether orthoptics and/or "visual training" can remedy reading disabilities. Therefore, and to extend our prior studies, we under took a comparative and controlled study. One hundred and twenty children with reading disability were tested extensively, matched and randomly divided into three groups: orthoptic, conventional (reading tutoring), and no-treatment control. Unfortunately, participants in the control group were unable to adhere to no-treatment and were deleted. Each of the 40 children in the first two groups had 40 sessions, 20 minutes daily. Orthoptic treatment was directed to markedly increasing fusional convergence amplitudes for both near and distance to 60 D. The two treatments were also carefully matched in time and effort. Sixty-two children in 31 matched pairs completed the course of treatment and testing.
The results were equal and statistically significant (P< .05) marked improvement in reading performance in both treatment groups on essentially all tests. Orthoptic treatment, to increase convergence amplitudes to 60 D, is as effective as conventional in-school reading tutoring treatment of reading disabilities. An advantage of orthoptic treatment was that subjective reading and asthenopic symptoms (excessive tearing, itching, burning, visual fatigue, and headache) virtually disappeared after orthoptics. We recommend orthoptic treatment as: 1) an effective alternate primary treatment; 2) adjunctive treatment for those who do not respond well to standard treatment; and 3) as primary treatment in any case with asthenopic symptoms of /or convergence inadequacy.
7. Eye movement problems in achieving readers: an update.Solan HA. Am J Optom Physiol Opt. 1985 Dec;62(12):812-9
Abstract: There is extant a population of subjects who have average or better than average interpretive reading skills as measured by standardized tests but who read slowly and inefficiently. Ten cases are presented where both Iowa Silent Reading Tests (ISRT) (Level III) and eye movement recordings were completed. Three of the subjects received training to improve reading efficiency. Reducing the cognitive level of the reading selections did not result in improved reading efficiency for subjects who have good interpretive skills. Substantial improvement in reading efficiency was measured in each of the three subjects selected for training.