Although most of us read primarily by means of the vision,it has often been overlooked,that the vision may be the main course for reduced reading ability and /or learning ability in general. If the eyes are not co-operating properly, you may e.g. have such problems as headaches, blurring of the text,trouble adjusting from the black- board to the book,finding the right location in the text,exchanging letters and as a consequence of this, reduced reading speed.Through targeted binocular vision training you can make the various components of the vision co-operate better, and hence, the reading speed will be increased.
School children's vision and binocular vision
Few children have had their eyes examined before starting at school
Only a minority of the children, who start at school every year, have had their eyes examined thoroughly. This is despite the fact, that they are expected to learn how to read during the first year(s)at school. Unfortunately, the connection between the vision, including the co-operation between the eyes and reading, has been overlooked in the debate, regarding children's ability to read.
A defective binocular vision can already be detected at the kindergarten
TrainYourEyes has great experience in examining the children's vision and binocular vision and has tested children from the age of 5. Already at this age you are able to find the relationship between the visual skills ,and the way the children 'learn'.The defective binocular vision problems are basicly the same for 5 years old- as for 8 years old children.If you pay attention to the visual skills already before starting going to school,you have the opportunity to interfere at an early stage, instead of waiting until the problems have appeared.
But if the children have trouble co-ordinating the eyes ,when reading, it is very difficult to achieve good proficiency in reading, as the text may become blurred, bouncing, and the letters may be difficult to distinguish from each other. In order to keep the letters to still and clear, the child has to use a lot (otherwise unnecessary) strength, which is why headaches, fatigued eyes, and concentration problems occur, while the reading speed is too slow.
What the parents have to observe
"If the child has trouble keeping concentrated, complains about frontal headaches, that the text fades or is in fact double, the letters bounce and are unclear, it may be signs of a poor binocular vision ", Maria Beadle Kops from TrainYourEyes says. Similarly, parents have to notice ,whether the child reads with one eye covered, moves the head when reading or has to hold a finger/ruler at the reading place in the text. Another sign of strained co-operation between the eyes is, the child sitting at nose-distance from the book, writing or drawing with very short distance between the paper and the eyes.
Binocular vision and muscular activity
The motor systeme is divided in two subgroups: The gross motor activity, which controls the large muscles, that are used for movements, like sitting quietly ,turning,crawling and walking around and the Fine motor activity,which controls eye-mouth and handmusclesIf the gross motor activity and / or the balance do not function optimally,it will affect the fine motor activity,so that the co-operation between the eyes is not optimal.
Both children physiotherapists,children occupational therapists and nursery school teachers experience,that nearly 25% of all nursery school children start going to school with defective motor activity,that leads to poor binocular vision.The number has been increasing strongly the last 10 years and creates big problems regarding learning.
Binocular vision and reading
When you start learning to read,you have to be able to control your Gross motor activity and balance in order to be able to sit quietly on a chair.Furthermore you need a good visual concentration,so you are able to exclude any irrelevant visual impressions, as the neighbour,who sharpens his pencil,other pupils passing the window etc.You have to be able to control the eye's adaptability,so that you can focus the letters in the book, the eyes have to be turned towards the same location,so you do not experience the letters getting two-fold.You have to build up your binocular vision reserves, in order to maintain the same letters clear and single for a long time.
The purpose of visual therapy
The purpose of visual therapy is to optimize your vision,your binocular vision and your visual skills, and hereby remedy the symptoms,defective binocular vision causes.While the effect of training other parts of the anatomy is obvious ,only few realize,that the eyes also can benefit from training. But visual therapy is not only a fitness program for the eyes.It is also very much about learning motor skills,i.e. training the interaction between the body and the brain.
How does visual therapy work ?
If you suspect a defective binocular vision, you should let a specially educated optomotrist measure your vision thoroughly.It is not enough to be able to see the letters on the visual acuity chart,to reveal nearsightedness,farsightedness or possible structional defects of the eyes.According to the reading ability it is essential to examine the co-operation between the eyes, and how the rest of the body functions in relation to this.
If the binocular vision is defective, the optomotrist will make an individual training program with TrainYourEyes.It is designed using the strong and weak aspects of the binocular vision. The training is via the internet, but can also be done without the use of a computer.If you use the internet, you are able to train with funny 3D-"games" and 3D-glasses or e.g. drive a racer car.After 3-6 months of training your binocular vision is functioning optimally and will not get defective again.
It is always recommended, that a child below 10 years is examined by an ophtalmologist, in order to find out,whether he suffers from any diseases.A possible training programme can, with advantage, be done in co-operation with the same opthalmologist or the GP
The limitations of visual therapy
Visual therapy cannot train a squint, a lazy eye or improve clarity of distance vision so that, e.g., a very nearsighted person no longer needs glasses.It can neither remedy binocular vision, that is defective due to disease.Any such disease should be in care of eye care professionals.
Thorough binocular vision analysis
On www.TrainYourEyes.com you will find a list of the opticians, which have specialized in testing and training the binocular vision. They offer to perform a thorough analysis of the vision and the binocular vision. Here you can measure ,whether the child is nearsighted, farsighted or has a astigmatism, but to much the same extent it is also examined, whether the eyes function optimally in relation to one another - also known as binocular vision. The analysis of the binocular vision takes approximately 30 to 60 minutes and costs US Dollars depending on the duration.
Subsequently, the child and parents receive a professional opinion of the vision skills of the individual child.
The training session is individually adapted to the vision of the individual, and among other things it is carried out through the use of 3D games, which requires the use of both eyes simultaneously. The programme has been designed to train the co-ordination of the eye muscles, focusing and focus adjustment of the eyes. When the eyes are used together, the 3D effect will occur. Several of the 3D programmes have been designed to register a high-score, in order to make it possible to improve one's results in the process of the training session.
Necessary reading assumptions
"We do not teach children how to read, but help them to have optimal assumptions for it", Maria Beadle Kops says. "If a child cannot focus on the letters or in fact sees them as being double, it is very difficult to teach the child how to read optimally. Through binocular vision training the child can learn how to use the eyes correctly together – the actual reading is learned in school."