3. An Exploratory Study to Investigate Eye Movement Performance and Visual Perceptual Skills in Children with Dyslexia

Isobelle Wong1*

1. Educational Therapist / Optometrist

 

Abstract

 

During recent years, many studies have shown that reading difficulties such as dyslexia can co-exist with visual processing deficits. As estimated, 80% of the time, a child learns through the visual channel; any deficits in visual processing may affect learning. While intervention related to phonological deficits is well accepted and practised in Singapore, the possible impact of visual deficits is rarely considered, especially with regard to eye movements and visual perception. Hence, these deficits are usually discovered much later or remain undiagnosed. This study investigates the eye movement performance and visual perception skills in a group of 30 children with dyslexia from the Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS) learning centres. The tests used for assessment were the Developmental Eye Movement (DEM) test and the Test of Visual Perceptual Skills (non-motor) 4th Edition (TVPS-4). The data collected were analysed against the normative data. Among the participants, 56.67% of them showed eye movement deficits and 46.67% of them displayed visual perceptual weaknesses. Sixty percent of the parents were aware that their child tends to leave out or confuse words when reading. However, only eleven of the participants had an eye examination by an ophthalmologist or optometrist.

 

Based on the key findings in this study, it is essential to raise awareness among professionals and parents regarding the importance of eye movements and visual perception in children with dyslexia. Any child who shows signs of visual difficulties should be referred for more in-depth visual assessment to identify the actual cause of the difficulties.

 

Keywords:           dyslexia, reading difficulties, eye movement, visual perception, visual perceptual skills, visual processing deficits, rapid automatized naming (RAN)

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3. An Exploratory Study to Investigate Eye Movement Performance and Visual Perceptual Skills in Children with Dyslexia
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