How can you tell if your child has tracking problems?
There used to be good general advice about tracking and reading on a web-page called childrensvision.com. But it seems to have been hijacked by an optometrist from Wichita. These are the symptoms the site used to list:
Needing to run a finger underneath the line when reading.
Reading the same line again or skipping lines.
Losing “concentration” after a short time while reading a book.
Guessing the letters at the end of words.
Having tired eyes.
The words appearing to be blurred.
The words seeming to float around.
Needing to rub the eyes after reading for a period of time.
Difficulty copying words from the black/white board.
Needing to close one eye when reading (Voluntary Occlusion).
Feeling slightly queasy when reading for a period of time.
These are all signs of a student who has an eye-tracking difficulty. A student may have one or two of the above signs but is most unlikely to have them all.
In addition, consider these questions:
Does your child inexplicably mis-read words when reading out loud?
‘It’ for ‘I’ or vice versa
‘That’ for ‘the’ or for ‘what’
‘Lucky’ for ‘quickly’
‘From’ instead of ‘for’
Does your child often skip small words and lose his or her place all the time or mis-read the line above or below his or her sentence or line of text without noticing? Symptoms like these may be indicative of tracking problems and eye exercises can help enormously.
If you recognize these symptoms, seek specialist advice as soon as possible. A child can be utterly demoralised, even embittered when he or she finds that simple reading tasks easily mastered by classmates are almost insuperable.