• Students with worse eye movements also showed worse reading fluency and comprehension
• Improved eye movements through vision therapy led to improved fluency and comprehension
• Treatment in the fall led to more improvements compared to treatment in the spring
Reading is the primary route of learning in school. Students who read proficiently in 3rd grade are more likely to graduate from high school and achieve greater economic success. On the flipside, poor reading has been associated with behavioral and social problems in schools. If a child does not read at grade level by 4th grade, his/her future of success is at risk.
Reading requires a complex array of skills to work in concert – language, attention, information processing, vision and eye movements. Eye movements are an important part of the physical act of reading. Poor eye movements can lead to slow reading which decreases fluency. In turn, poor fluency adversely affects reading comprehension. An apt analogy would be riding a bicycle. In order to ride successfully, you need to build up a certain amount of speed; otherwise, you will fall off of the bicycle. Fluency affects reading comprehension in a similar manner, and eye movements influence fluency.
In a study involving more than six hundred elementary students across two different states, improvements in eye movements through optometric vision therapy was shown to improve fluency and comprehension compared to reading skills instruction alone. The treatment group on average showed 50% more improvement in fluency and 300% more improvement in comprehension than the group that did not receive therapy. This improvement held true even in the “high-needs” group which showed pre-treatment fluency at the 26th percentile compared to the 67th percentile for the rest of the students and pre-treatment comprehension at the 40th percentile compared to the 63rd percentile for the rest of the students.
We specialize in optometric vision therapy and its effects on academics. For more information, contact Sugar Land, TX eye doctors and optometrists at Bright Eye Care & Vision Development.
References available upon request.
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