Special educational programs are very helpful in giving these children the help that they need to succeed in their academic careers and continue to succeed in life in general. Children that do not learn to read early are destined to struggle throughout life with problems caused by the inability to read.
Vision is described as the ability to see things clearly. Eye sight actually is not only important to see things, but helps to process things that are seen. Processing what is seen is where the true problem lies for reading problems, especially in special education situations. Not being able to process what is seen by the eyes causes the inability to understand what a person is looking it, which is where reading problems stem. Those who truly cannot see read differently, usually with Braille.
Many special needs either cause reading problems or are directly linked to reading problems in some way. Some children suffer from dyslexia, which is a complex language problem that affects how the brain breaks down words. It is usually associated with backwards reading and writing. For example, writing all the letters in a word backwards. Because the brain cannot process words properly, reading is very difficult for most with dyslexia.
Another common problem associated with reading problems eye tracking problems. Eye tracking is the ability of the eye to focus on and follow written words or anything else that is visual. The eyes tend to jump around and do not follow any uniform pattern for reading and the like. Eye tracking problems for the most part can be solved with eye exercises which retrain the eye to focus and follow lines of text, assisting with the reading and any other visual activity.
Additional issues associated with reading problems are convergence insufficiency, esotropia and exophoria. Convergence insufficiency is caused when the two eyes cannot focus inward on the reading, therefore making it difficult for the child or adult to read and process what is being read. Convergence insufficiency can be corrected using eye exercises to retrain the eyes to focus inwardly together. Esotropia is when both eyes are open, one turns inward. Exophoria is when one eye turns outward when both eyes are open. Both conditions are commonly referred to as lazy eye because the eye that is turning inward or outward is not performing the task that the other eye is, therefore it is considered lazy.
These conditions cause issues with reading because they cause additional stress on the eye that is doing the work. The eye becomes fatigued very quickly, causing the child to not process the reading any longer. Children who are having issues focusing will complain of headaches while reading for a very short period of time. When a child is having trouble focusing, it is common that they will turn their head to one side or the other to use the eye that is stronger to focus on the reading.
- Special Education Dictionary
- ADA – Americans with Disabilities Act
- AMAO – Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives
- APD – Auditory Processing Disorder in Children
- CST – Child Study Team
- EHA – Education for All Handicapped Children Act
- FAPE – Free Appropriate Public Education
- IDEA – Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
- IDEIA – Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act
- IEP – Individual Education Plan
- IHCP – Individualized Health Care Plan
- LD – Learning Disabled
- LDT-C – Learning Disabilities Consultants
- LRE – Least Restrictive Environment
- ODD – Oppositional Defiant Disorder
- OHI – Other Health Impairments
- PWN – Prior Written Notice
- RTI – Response to Intervention