Vision and Reading

Diane McGuiness, Ph.D., a cognitive developmental psychologist and professor at the University of South Florida, has written a wonderful book entitled: “Why Our Children Can’t Read and What We Can Do About It”. Dr. McGuiness notes:

“Children with serious problems in binocular control tend to telegraph this in noticeable behaviors. They frequently rub their eyes, squint at the page, cover one eye or turn sideways to read, or move their head from left to right instead of their eyes. Any one of these behaviors, if persistent, is an indication that parents should have their child tested by an optometrist specializing in diagnosing and treating visuomotor problems. Binocular fusion and controlled scanning are highly trainable.”

There are three important messages here:

  1. Visual problems can interfere with reading even when a child has 20/20 eyesight.
  2. A child with reading problems and multiple symptoms or signs in the PAVE checklist should be tested by an optometrist specializing in these problems.
  3. Difficulties caused by vision problems can often by solved through vision training.