British Specialists

British Tracking and Reading Specialists

In Scotland, Dr. Alison Hood, who has now retired, was very expert and very helpful. Her successor can be contacted through the Nuffield Eye Hospital in Glasgow. You do not need to ask a GP to refer your child to the Nuffield – you can seek a private consultation without a reference from a medical doctor.

In the South of England, Keith Holland, in Cheltenham, is an optometrist (optician) with a special interest in tracking problems. I have heard very good things about him and his web-site is extremely useful:

http://www.keithholland.co.uk/Information+for+parents+and+teachers.pdf

He also contributes to another site full of information about dyslexia and dyspraxia:

http://www.dystalk.com

The British and Irish Society of Orthoptists holds a list of all the specialists who can deal with this sort of problem but, at present, will not release it to me for publication. I don’t quite understand why. Contact them at:

http://www.orthoptics.org.uk/home/home

and ask if they will tell you who, in your particular area, might be able to diagnose and treat this type of visual disorder.

Educational psychologists all over Britain will know about tracking problems and some may be very expert in diagnosing and treating the problem (especially when it is not extreme and severe.)

Others may conflate this problem with other processing problems, for which there are many, many causes.

State schools may be better at spotting and dealing with this problem than private schools – it is difficult to generalise.

But lots of teachers and lots of experts seem to be muddling up tracking problems with dyslexia (‘reading and writing problems without an obvious cause’) – it is important not to make this easy and lazy confusion.

Tracking seems to be an eye problem, probably caused by musculature malfunctions.

There are also processing and thinking problems, problems ‘behind the eyes’, which cause dyslexia and educational under-performance of various different types.

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6 Responses to British Specialists

  1. Anne Sudborough says:

    I’m a tutor of children with Specific Learning Difficulties. The majority of the children have visual perception/processing difficulties (also auditory processing – but that’s another issue!). I always send them to a member of BABO (British Association of Behavioural Optometrists – of which Keith Holland is the Chair) – http://www.babo.co.uk. Specific spectacles, eye exercises and good classroom management will usually help enormously.

    Good site!

  2. Alyson Harland says:

    I came across this website while I was trying to find a way to contact Alison Hood to thank her hugely for her input into my son’s visual development. We were really lucky to have treatment from Alison for my son’s visual tracking problems at late primary school age. The exercises and specific information given to us were used throughout my sons remaining time at school and he left with 7 national 5’s, and 5 good higher passes to attend university. His reading remains a challenge but he has been able to record most of his exam work on a lap top with enlarged font and more time for exams. Thank You Alison where ever you are and best wishes for your retirement.

    • Dear Alyson, I have been in touch with Alison Hood relatively recently and I will certainly pass your comments on. I am a great admirer of Dr. Hood and we were very sad when she retired. Other orthoptists and optometrists have not proved as perceptive or as helpful. My youngster, her patient, is now 16 and still struggles to read fluently or with ease. But I am working hard with him at the moment, re-applying Alison’s methods, and he is coming on well. I hope your son has all the success you and he could wish for at university. My very best wishes to you both, J.

  3. Alyson Harland says:

    Thank you for your reply and very best wishes to your son. My son benefited greatly from Alison’s intervention and regular practice of visual exercises. Having recorded recommendations for font size, visual presentation, extra time and lap top use (as required) was also very helpful for him throughout his formal exams.This is worth pursuing if you do not already have it in place for your son for his future exams..
    Good luck
    Alyson

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