Reading Difficulties

There are three main reasons for children to present to our practice.

  1. Reading
  2. Writing
  3. Comprehension

The first part of reading is deciphering.  This starts at a very young age deciphering the individual letters, then after that comes syllabels then finally words.  After you can read the word then you need comprehension, what the words mean.

Year 1-2 you learn to read
Year 3-4 you read to learn
Year 5-6 you need to have the basics down to progress
Year 7+ if you are not reading well enough you will be left behind.

Fluency does not occur until you don’t need to decipher each word every time.  You cannot jump forward, you need to go through each step.

In the younger children (4-5 years old) that have difficulty deciphering, they need to decipher each word in the sentence then they need to read again to comprehend.  At that stage it is not automatic so reading is slower as you can expect if you need to read things twice.

As you improve reading you don’t read every word, you get an overall look at 3 words, then 5 words then 7 words you understand the whole paragraph. The fast readers skip words and their reading speed increases.

The effort they need to work out through the confusion before they can see the word is a lot. The brain power required is extensive to decipher the blurred view before they can read it before they can comprehend it. For a few years they are good at working things out. If anything after they get their spectacles fixed they will be very good problem solvers because they have to be just to read the letters that everyone else says they can see easily.

Year 1-2 everything is written big so it is easier to read. Why is that? The teacher pronounces the letters and reads the words, the negative effect of the visual stress is not as important because the words are larger and there are other cues (teacher reading the letters/words). They can cope until the words get smaller or the speed increases.

Children tend to cope until the size of words reaches the limit of their visual stress.  So children with a smaller problem get further before it becomes an issue. When they are picked up earlier it is because they have a larger issues with visual stress.

As children get older and their visual system becomes more refined.  They are able to see smaller things and then they are able to detect a smaller imbalance in our testing. That means that our correction may change as they get older, refining the prescription over time.

After the age of 8 it is easier to correct people very precisely before that the visual system is still changing and responses can fluctuate.

Over 8 years of age they can be fixed more easily because their acuity is better and we can measure more precisely. You can see this in the speed of answering the questions during testing.