As the school year is coming to a close, so many parents want to know what to do with their child for the summer. Should you have your child read books? How about school work? It seems only logical that if your child is behind academically that you should have the child brush up on academics over summer break.
This can be helpful, but if your child is struggling with visual processing problems, then it probably won’t do much good. Think about it. If you have been running and practicing for a marathon without good results, why would you want to continue running in the same manner or using the same training techniques? It makes more sense to find out what is causing you to run slowly and find different training techniques. Then you have a shot at winning the marathon. Practice should be spent on activities that will correct the problem.
If your child is struggling with visual processing problems, then reading books will only fatigue this learner. You will need to do some specific exercises to help the visual system improve and strengthen. At the Harp Learning Institute, we understand that you see with your brain and only take light in with your eyes. We also understand that the eyes have muscles that can be weak but are easily strengthened. This system is what helps kids with visual processing problems succeed academically.
We start the students with basic, easy exercises and then steadily increase the demand, making the exercises more and more difficult. Soon students are able to read and do school work better because the visual system is working correctly.
So, what are some symptoms of a visual processing disorder? Following is a list that might help you decide if your child is struggling in this area.
Does your child:
* get carsick while reading in the car?
* reverse letters while reading?
* reverse numbers while doing math?
* switch words around (was, saw)?
* have trouble spelling short or easy words?
* have trouble staying on the line when reading?
* wear glasses?
* have astigmatism?
* ever have eyes that water?
* get headaches or neck aches?
* have words that start to run together while reading?
* have words that ever get fat or fuzzy, or develop a halo when reading?
* get bothered from doing school work for a long time?
* turn head to side while reading?
* skip words while reading?
* skip lines while reading?
* have a difficult time making pictures in the mind?
If you have checked off several of these symptoms, then it is possible that your child is struggling with a visual processing disorder. Don’t despair, though. These symptoms can be turned around quite easily. It just takes time and consistency, and soon your child’s academic skills will improve as a result.
by Lisa Harp