View Full Version : difficulty reading

11-08-2015, 12:44 AM
I think I learned something today about DS and his reading.

He asked me to read something because he said that "there were too many words on the page."

I told DH this and he said that this was his problem and it still is. He just reads on a tablet where he can control the size of the font and the words don't get jumbled or vibrate. I have always suspected that DH had a learning disability, because of his learning issues, and now I wonder if DS is the same way.

I tried searching the forums, but the search is not working right now.

I vaguely remember people talking about tracking? or maybe I am making this up?
Does what I describe sound familiar to anyone and would I take him to an ophthalmologist to help or someone different?


11-08-2015, 01:11 AM
Has he had a basic vision test?

11-08-2015, 02:07 AM
DS (9) had this exact issue when he started reading. I ended up checking out all age-appropriate books in large font from the library for him. He can now read any size font normally. Oh, I would also look at books myself and choose doublespaced ones. Also, I got him a ruler or blank cardstock that covered everything below the line he was reading and he would move it down as he read. That helped tremendously as well.

He would get very emotional and feel overwhelmed by "too many words in too little space". So, it may be visual or not.

11-08-2015, 11:10 AM
Has he had a basic vision test?

Just as a caution, "regular" optometrists don't test all the known aspects of vision (according to the behavioral optometrist that we ended up seeing). We took DD to the local optometrist, and indeed, he pronounced her "fine, just a little farsighted." When we took her to a behavioral optometrist later, he found some significant visual issues - but since DD's acuity (only one measure of vision) is fine, most docs wouldn't have found them.

If your son has a visual acuity issue, the optometrist will find it. But if your son has tracking issues, visual processing issues, convergence infacility, that sort of thing, I'd recommend going straight to a behavioral optometrist and not wasting a visit on a regular one.

11-08-2015, 11:50 AM
Vision therapy was crucial for my DS. He really blossomed afterwards. I second the recommend of finding an eye doctor versed in these things and at least getting him tested. If you search vision therapy, vision related reading problems, convergence, tracking, etc. you may see some things that sound like your child.

11-08-2015, 12:14 PM
I'd like to second Luv2hs, especially this.... "Also, I got him a ruler or blank cardstock that covered everything below the line he was reading and he would move it down as he read."

I still do this as an adult, when I am fatigued.

I tend to narrow down, starting with the easiest solution before jumping to conclusions. It just might be something as simple as that. :)

Good luck!

11-08-2015, 01:10 PM
I think I was one of the people who has written here before about vision therapy. My daughter reported a similar thing as your son -- she would only read Garfield and Foxtrot books because regular books had too many words on the page (but her vision seemed normal in every other way). Eventually we took her to a developmental optometrist where they diagnosed her with convergence insufficiency (eyes don't work properly together) and a focusing disorder (can't smoothly relax or contract the eyes' focusing muscles). We did 19 weeks of therapy, which was a weekly visit to the vision therapist and us working daily on exercises. It got old after a while, but it did what it was supposed to do and her eyes are now working together properly.

It was interesting ... toward the end of the 19 weeks, my daughter was annoyed by something. Before therapy had started, she would be sitting in the car, looking out the window; if there was a smudge on the window, she could see the smudge in focus *and* everything else behind it in focus as well (if you try it, you'll see you're not supposed to be able to do that -- hold your finger up in front of your nose and focus both eyes on it. If they are focusing properly on something up close, they should not also be able to focus on things farther away at the same time -- that means only one eye is doing the work and the other eye is not). But when my daughter's eyes were working properly, she could not do this any longer and she was annoyed. ;) But it showed me that her eyes were indeed not working together before therapy, but were working together after therapy.

Good luck with this!


11-08-2015, 06:29 PM
Thanks for the suggestions and information.

DS has had a basic vision test. Everything appears to be fine. Except when they are not fine. The reason that I think that this is more significant, is that I have had vision problems in the past, but were treated as a child and DH suffers from the same problem as DS, except that DH's was never treated.

I think there is a specialist in our area.

11-08-2015, 06:53 PM
Most of the dyslexia checklists I have looked at have that the words shimmer, vibrate or move as a category. So probably worth looking into testing for that too.

11-08-2015, 07:18 PM
Thanks! I will have that checked out too. DS reverses quite a few things, but I dismissed it as a developmental phase.

11-12-2015, 10:29 PM
My oldest son "met" all of those online dyslexia tests....but I knew he didn't have dyslexia. He could read fine....if the font was large enough. The local doctor said he "might" have a lazy eye, referred us, and we ended up doing vision therapy. Made a HUGE difference. (He also has ADHD and sensory issues. He moved to see 1 of things....so he moved a LOT.) When I asked my son if the letters on the page "did anything" he said they were moving around. (A normal kid should look at you funny and say "they are sitting there.) He couldn't even point at the words because they moved so much. He often read words out of order when I put an index card under them. A book to read about this is "Fixing My Gaze".

Younger son has dyslexia. He would "get" the phonics one day, no matter the size....and the next it was like we never studied it. He needed a lot of Phonemic Awareness activities...he hated to rhyme, wouldn't sing the preschool songs my other kids loved, couldn't tell that CAT has three different sounds and so many more things. He did vision therapy too....didn't do much for him because he has dyslexia. A good book to read about dyslexia is "Overcoming Dyslexia." (I did ignore the parts where she said that parents cannot teach their dyslexic kids to read. My son HAS learned how to read.)

It DOES sound like both your husband and son have the same issue. And my bet is on the need for Vision Therapy. If you do go for this, do make sure that the people give you "homework" to do between office sessions. My sons had to do a 1/2 hour a day. Medical insurance can help pay for it, vision insurance will not. Your husband may want to do therapy too....it sounds like it can help with driving skills and such too.