Much of the material on the net is American by origin.
Few of the references give a British parent any clue how to deal with a child who is struggling to read for no apparent reason and whose difficulties may be caused (in part or wholly) by tracking problems.
The best place to go for specific recommendations and ideas about eye-sight problems is Keith Holland’s web-site, especially this section:
But in May 2010, I did a Google search on “tracking and reading problems” and then checked each of the first few references carefully and summarised their content.
Tracking and Reading Problems – advanced search on Google
About 952,000 results (0.26 seconds)
1. The Thinking Mother:
Useful American blog., mainly about convergence insufficiency (squinting) rather than tracking. It is over-long and there are so many references in it that you could spend many hours wandering around the internet and following them up.
The references are good, sometimes excellent, but it is tricky to make use of so many of them.
2. ….. excerpts from an article on Vision, Learning and Nutrition
by Donald J. Getz, OD, FCOVD, FAAO
Short article on many, if not all, of the visual (and consequent reading) problems from which children can suffer.
Academic and a bit technical, American. Summarised above.
3. Reading and Vision
Good introduction to the visual problems from which children can suffer. Good short section about tracking, with an animation which gives an impression of how the problem looks like to the child. Easy to read, American.
4. Vision Therapy
Another American site which offers a lot of information about visual problems of all sorts and many case studies and testimonials which suggest that vision therapy (eye exercises, corrective lenses etc) is a better bet than eye surgery, which some American doctors recommend.
For ‘simple’ tracking problems, this is probably true.
But tracking problems can be combined with convergence problems and with processing problems (ie the visual information is getting to the brain accurately but may not be processed effectively when it gets there).
There is nothing ‘simple’ about the eye problems which lead to reading problems. Very much the opposite. Surgery should probably be a last resort.
5. Associated Content … “Eye Tracking Is The Key to Reading Success”
A promotional site which advocates (and may be associated with) Vickie Bockenkamp of Power Tools for Learning in Alameda who treats adults and teenagers, as well as children, who have reading problems which may stem from tracking disorders. Alameda is in California.
6. Dyslexia and Eye Tracking Problems
An extract from a blog of British origin mainly about dyslexia and written by a dyslexic.
It includes this statement, which the Google algorithm picked up: “contrary to popular opinion, any eye-tracking problems a dyslexic may have are correlational to dyslexia rather than the cause.” I do not believe that is true. The blog cites the research paper which reaches this conclusion but I haven’t been able to find it.
It took me well over an hour to look carefully at just 6 out of the million sites that a Google search on ‘ reading and tracking’ reveals.
By the end of my review, I had no idea where to go in Britain to help a child struggling with reading who might have tracking problems.
The sheer quantity of information available, some of it peculiar or commercially orientated or misleading, would make it almost impossible for a concerned parent or guardian to make sense of the problem simply by his or her researches on the internet.