What is the difference between a tracking problem and dyslexia?
Surely it can be cured by wearing glasses?
I’ve been told that coloured filters help …..
There are so many possible reasons why a child might find reading tricky. Reading is a really difficult skill to master, especially at a very young age.
The child may have genuine learning difficulties or may be a late developer. In many European countries, children are not expected to read until they are six or eight, whereas we tend to think that bright children ought to be learning to read as soon as they get to school or even before that.
Everyone will tell you that a child who is a slow reader or has reading problems is suffering from “dyslexia” but I am afraid that word has become such a ‘catch-all’ that it now means very little unless professionally diagnosed by a psychologist using what are called the Weschler tests.
As a psychologist (of all people) joked to me, it has now come to mean “I can’t teach you to spell, therefore you must be dyslexic” and that is not very far from the definition agreed about twenty years ago which suggested that the description ‘dyslexic’ be applied to children or adults who suffered “reading, spelling and writing difficulties with no obvious cause.”
Tracking problems ARE an obvious cause.
Your child cannot learn to read well unless he or she can see the letters and words on a page clearly and in the right order.
This is not always the case and it is sometimes difficult to detect. The child does not realise that his or her vision is peculiar, that he or she is struggling with blurred and confused images which their classmates see clearly. This is hugely frustrating and puts them at a great disadvantage but, in the early years, is often masked by the use of very large print and by the simplicity of the vocabulary in the reading materials that are employed.
Standard eye tests do NOT show up tracking problems and a child with perfect sight may not be able to read easily.
Glasses do not help with tracking problems and nor (normally) do coloured filters, which help to compensate for a completely different type of visual abnormality.