Updated: Oct 8, 2021
Eye tracking is the ability of one's eyes to “track” from left to right in an efficient manner.
A teacher hands your child a piece of paper; the paper is covered with math questions. It looks like 20, maybe 30 questions, now. For some children, this is no problem, and they get to work. For other children, they look at it and shut it down instantly. This child is looking at the paper, and most likely, they have poor eye tracking. All this information is just visually overwhelming.
Did you know that 1 in 4 students have trouble reading due to vision skills deficits? You may be thinking, but I have had my child's vision checked every year, and they have 20/20 vision.
20/20 Vision only refers to how clearly a child can see, not how they see.
This child is looking at the paper, and most likely, they have poor eye tracking. All this information is just visually overwhelming.
Eye tracking is the ability of one's eyes to "track" from left to right efficiently. Therefore, eye tracking skills are fundamental to achieve maximum academic potential.
Here are lists of some of the symptoms of poor eye tracking:
Loses spot when reading
Re-reads the same sentence
Re-verse words or letters
Needs finger or a ruler to track words
Words move off the page
Now the question is, how do you fix this?
The good news is that specific exercises can improve eye tracking, but that's a whole another blog. Look for the link below.
Here are steps you can ask your child's teacher to implement right now:
Enlarge font size of print material if small
Verbally repeat any written instructions on the board
Provide a desk copy for board work
Allow extra time for reading, writing, and copying
Use a line guide when reading
Minimize information on the page to only what is necessary (Ask the teacher to take the 20 questions and put them on multiple papers with larger fonts. Maybe only 4 to 5 questions per page. )
Reduce crowding of the visual information
If you want to learn more about eye tracking and exercises that can help click the link below.