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Child Losing Place While Reading

Posted by Dr. Danny P. Malone on Oct 11, 2016 4:50:04 PM

If your child is frequently losing their place while reading, it might be a sign of a vision problem. This could include astigmatism or an eye muscle problem. Related problems could be blurred vision or seeing double. These are processing issues.

child readingI’ve written previously about common eye problems in children, double vision, and squinting/blinking. You may be interested in reviewing those blog posts for additional insight into related problems.

Another potential reason behind a child losing their place when reading is dyslexia. Dyslexia will typically be seen with a number of other challenges including visual sequencing and discrimination difficulties as well as visual memory problems and a preference for auditory activities. Here, I’ll focus on vision problems.  

Vision is Critical for Learning

Experts say that approximately 80% of what a child learns in school is presented visually. That’s why you’re wise to consider vision problems when your child encounters learning difficulties. Plus, as you know, there’s no more important learning skill than reading. 

Eye Tracking While Reading

Focusing on each word while also seeing the full line of text within your peripheral vision are the keys to proper eye tracking while reading. You need to see each word clearly while also being able to take into account the line you’re moving across.

Clear Vision

The first critical area is making sure your child actually has clear vision and can focus on the printed word. They may suffer from hyperopia, or farsightedness, where they have difficulty seeing close objects. School exams often miss this as the child can easily read an eye chart. 

Another hindrance to clear vision could be internal or lenticular astigmatism, which is caused by an abnormal shape of the eye and in particular the cornea. It causes blurry vision for both near objects and far objects. Most children have some amount of astigmatism because there are always slight imperfections in the curvature of the eye. 

Correction for both these problems is through prescription glasses or contacts.

Eye Muscles

Another source of reading problems could be strabismus, which is misalignment of the eyes. In extreme cases it is sometimes called “cross eyes.” If your child can’t track the printed line with both eyes, it can lead to a number of reading challenges.

Treatment for strabismus can include prescription glasses, vision therapy, or muscle surgery. 

We Can Help

As a first step, we recommend a thorough eye exam to identify the exact cause of the problem. Then we can recommend the appropriate treatment for your child. We have considerable experience diagnosing and treating all these problems.

Use our contact form or call us at 972-612-2099 to schedule your child’s appointment.

Disclaimer: The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions. 

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Topics: signs of vision problems