Visual Tracking – One of the Most Common Reading Problems + 8 Activities to Improve ItFebruary 24th, 2009
Today, I’m covering two very important areas of visual processing and one of them is one of the most common reading problems. There are actually 9 areas of Visual Processing that affect learning. The two areas that I’m covering in this post are visual tracking and visual language association.
The students I have worked with over the years had a variety of problems. Some of them were ‘falling through the cracks,’ they did not qualify for additional help within the school system. Some of the students had identified learning disabilities (LD), some were ADD or ADHD, others had asperger’s syndrome or were in the autism spectrum. Some of these students were homeschooled, some were in private schools, some in public schools.
And, over my 35+ years of teaching, approximately 90 – 95% of the students I worked with had visual tracking difficulties. It is a VERY common problem! If a child mispronounces words while reading aloud they are making phonetic mistakes that often stem from auditory processing difficulties or a combination of auditory and visual memory difficulties.
Visual Tracking: The ability to track one’s eyes from left to right in an efficient manner; it enables the task to be completed quickly. When your child skips or repeats words when they read aloud they typically have visual tracking difficulties. Visual Tracking is critical to reading fluently with ease.
3.Do larger muscle movements, drawing on a chalkboard, following from left to right draw different shapes.
4.Play rolly-polly with a ball, rolling it back and forth to each other.
5.Play catch with a ball or bean bag.
6.Find the abc’s in abc order on a page. There are books that are set up to do this.
7.Use reading drills like Five Minutes to Better Reading Skillsthat is set up for working on visual tracking as well as visual closure and rapid naming simultaneously.
8.Use Maze books. They come in a range of difficulty, so pick one that is appropriate to your child.
Visual Language Association: The ability to formulate associations between pictures of objects.
1.Create a set of 4 or 5 pictures or objects. Have one of the group NOT belong to the group.
2.Pick out the picture that doesn’t belong and explain why.
3.Find all of the objects in the room that have 4 corners, 3 corners, and circular, etc.
4.View an object or picture of an object and state where the object would belong e.g. trees, plants, shoes, boots, books, pencils, etc.
5.View a picture of a scene and create a logical story that describes it.
6.Give directions to the student by pointing such as point to the door and motion for the student to close it. Have the student tell you what they should do or have them do it.
7.Show students an object and then have them tell as many things that would go with it e.g shoe – sock, salt – pepper.
8.Match pictures with words.
9.The Sentence Zone game associates words with parts of speech according to colors to make sentence writing easier. Can be played from 1st grade – 12th.
Definitions of the areas are excerpted from the Learning Difficulty/Disability Pre-Screening and Informal Comprehensive Identification Tool. The book contains more information on the impact difficulties in these areas have in the classroom as well as how to determine if your student has difficulties in any of these areas.
Feel free to pass this article along. Remember the above activities are easy for any parent to implement to help their child with visual tracking and visual language association, whether their child has an identified learning disability, LD, dyslexia, or reading problems. Because the activities are so short in duration they are perfect for those children with ADHD too.
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Till next time,
Bonnie Terry, M. Ed., BCET
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