How We Learn

Stanislas Dehaene

(Part 3)

CONSOLIDATION

Every night our brain consolidates what it has learned during the day. This is one of the most important neuroscience discoveries of the last thirty years: sleep is not just a period of inactivity or a garbage collection of waste products that the brain accumulated while we were awake.

Consider a first grader who successfully deployed the three pillars of learning and quickly learned to read. He actively engaged in reading with curiosity and enthusiasm. He learned to pay attention to every letter of every word, from left to right. And, over the months, as his errors receded, he began to accurately decipher the correspondence between letters and sounds and to store the spellings of irregular words. However, he is not a fluid reader yet, and reads slowly and with effort. What’s missing? He still has to deploy the fourth pillar of learning: consolidation. His reading, which, at this stage, mobilizes all his attention, has to become automatic and unconscious.

The analysis of his reading times is revealing: the longer a word is, the longer it takes him to decipher it. The function is linear: response time increases by a fixed amount of about one-fifth of a second for each additional letter…. After two or three years of intensive practice, the effect of word length will flat out disappear. Dear reader, at this very moment, as your expert brain deciphers my words, you take the same exact amount of time to read any word between three and eight letters long. It takes, on average, about three years of training for visual word recognition to move from sequential to parallel. Ultimately, our visual word form area processes all the letters of a word simultaneously rather than serially. Being aware of this visual process is critical.

Why is automatization so important? Because it frees up the cortex’s resources. Remember that the parietal and prefrontal executive cortices operate as a generic executive control network that imposes a cognitive bottleneck: it cannot multitask.

Research has confirmed that we cannot multitask. The exception is when a unified task has components that become so automatic that they do not require working memory. Learning to drive a car is an example as is efficient reading. But while it takes hundreds of hours for normal driving to become automatic, reading develops over many years. Most of us read better as adults than we did the day that we graduated from high school.

Everyone who works with children’s reading should be aware of the how reading emerges and all of the components that must become automatic and coordinate to allow comprehension to emerge. Problems in any of these areas will interfere and must be identified to be treated. Are they beginning to see whole words? Do they still need to hear the word to know what it means? Do they know the meanings of the words? Can they keep their place? Does the page appear to be too crowded and confuse them? Do their eyes automatically work together and focus clearly and can this be sustained for extended periods of time?

How We Learn: Part 1

How We Learn: Part 2

How We Learn

Stanislas Dehaene   

(Part Two)

ACTIVE ENGAGEMENT

Explicit instruction (lecturing) has increased in elementary classrooms to enable more material to be presented. While lecturing enables more information to be presented in a shorter period of time and can be presented once to an entire class, it is difficult to keep every child actively engaged with explicit instruction. This may not be obvious to adults who are more able to control their attention. Equally important is that adults will tend to bring background information and experience to a presentation that young children lack. We also have to remember that information is remembered best when it answers a question for us and when we deem it to be important. That is why Making learning conditions more difficult, thus requiring students to engage more cognitive effort, often leads to enhanced retention.

Keeping children curious is therefore one of the key factors for successful education. A measure of effective learning is not only that the information is retained, but that it can be generalized and applied.

Our brain evaluates the speed of learning, and curiosity is turned off if our brain detects we are not progressing fast enough. (If the task is too difficult for the child at this time, like reading material with too many words to decode.)

“Goldilocks effect” (also Lev Vigotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development). To maximize what they learn, we have to constantly enrich their environment with new objects that are just stimulating enough not to be discouraging. It is adults’ responsibility to provide them with a well-designed pedagogical hierarchy that progressively takes them to the top, constantly stimulating their drive for knowledge and novelty.

ERROR FEEDBACK

Making mistakes is the most natural way to learn. The two terms are virtually synonymous because every error offers an opportunity to learn. (See “Mindset”)

Good teachers are already well aware of these ideas. Every day, they witness the Roman dictum: to err is human. With a compassionate eye, they look kindly upon their students’ mistakes, because they realize that no one learns without making errors. They know that they should diagnose, as dispassionately as possible, the exact areas of difficulty for their students and help them find the best solutions. With experience, these teachers build up a catalog of errors, because all students repeatedly fall into the same old traps. These teachers find the right words to console, reassure, and restore the self-confidence of their students, all the while allowing them to amend their erroneous mental representations. They are here to tell the truth, not to judge.

We cannot ignore the tremendous negative effects that bad grades have on the emotional systems of the brain: discouragement, stigmatization, feelings of helplessness.

There is a confusion about the role of testing in learning. Many of us would argue that there are too many standardized tests that take too much instructional time and receive inordinate importance over teacher observations. Because standardized test questions need to be protected, teachers and students do not review the tests and use them for instructional purposes. But tests can have an important role in learning. When a quiz is taken and reviewed, the student gets to see their error and the teacher has an opportunity to correct their understanding. Also, testing that is used this way is more effective than reviewing material. The mental effort of trying to retrieve facts is a much more efficient process for embedding information than more passively reviewing it.

Indeed, we have been wrong about memory: it is not a system which is oriented toward the past, but one whose role is to send data to the future, so that we may later access it.

See Part 1 Here

How We Learn

Stanislas Dehaene 

(Part One)

This book has two sections. The first section is focused on brain research, the brain’s nature-endowed knowledge and abilities and the brains ability to be modified by nurture (learning). The second section of the book presents best practices for teaching and learning which have been derived from research on how we learn. How teaching and learning can be optimized is important to us because so many of the children that we see have not been successful in school. We also strive to make the challenging learning necessary in vision therapy as efficient and as effective as possible.

I have posted blogs about two of Stanislas Dehaene’s previous books, Reading and the Brain and Number Sense which is posted under “Vision and Mathematics”. As I did with those books, much of what follows will be excerpts. I cannot improve or condense his message without losing important information. Dehaene organizes this information around what he considers to be the “Four Pillars of Learning”; attention, active engagement, error feedback, and consolidation.

ATTENTION

In cognitive science, “attention” refers to all the mechanisms by which the brain selects information, amplifies it, channels it, and deepens its processing. These are ancient mechanisms in evolution…. Why did attention mechanisms evolve in so many animal species? Because attention solves a very common problem: information saturation.

A teacher’s greatest talent consists of constantly channeling and capturing children’s attention in order to properly guide them.

Attention acts as an amplifier and a selective filter.

Our attention is extremely limited, and despite all our good will, when our thoughts are focused on one object, other objects —– however salient, amusing, or important ——- can completely elude us and remain invisible to our eyes. The intrinsic limits of our awareness lead us to overestimate what we and others can perceive. The gorilla experiment (see The Invisible Gorilla), truly deserves to be known by everyone, especially parents and teachers. When we teach, we tend to forget what it means to be ignorant. We all think that what we see, everyone can see. As a result, we often have a hard time understanding why a child, despite the best of intentions, fails to see, in the most literal sense of the term, what we are trying to teach him. But the gorilla heeds a clear message: seeing requires attending. If students, for one reason or another, are distracted and fail to pay attention, they may be entirely oblivious to their teacher’s message ——– and what they cannot perceive, they cannot learn.

Above all, good teaching requires permanent attention to children’s attention. (See “Why Don’t Students Like School?”)

Because of this severe effect of distraction, learning to concentrate is an essential ingredient of learning. Teaching requires paying attention to the limits of attention and, therefore, carefully prioritizing specific tasks.

Executive attention roughly corresponds to what we call “concentration” or “self-control”. Importantly, this system is not immediately available to children: it will take fifteen to twenty years before their prefrontal cortex reaches its full maturity. Executive function emerges slowly throughout childhood and adolescence as our brain, through experience and education, gradually learns to control itself…. But this circuit, like all others, is plastic, and many studies show that its development can be enhanced by training and education.

The presence of a human tutor, who looks at the child before making a specific demonstration, massively modulates learning.

Parents and teachers, always keep this crucial fact in mind: your attitude and your gaze mean everything for a child. Getting a child’s attention through visual and verbal contact ensures that she shares your attention and increases the chance that she will retain the information you are trying to convey…. Any healthy pedagogical relationship must be based on bidirectional streams of attention, listening, respect, and mutual trust.

For More:

Why Don’t Students Like School?

How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character

Marshmallow Test

The Enchanted Hour

Physical Intelligence

Scott Grafton

Scott Grafton is a neuroscientist and avid alpinist who is invigorated and challenged by the experience of hiking alone in the mountains. He uses the story of one of his hikes to provide practical examples of the importance of physical intelligence. Going to the gym for strength and cardiovascular training are excellent for your health but they are not a substitute for being in nature as a stimulus to develop and maintain physical intelligence. Grafton explains how being in nature changes his vision and his awareness of space; what is around him and where. He also explains how the unpredictability of nature makes different requirements on us which stimulate our attention and nurture our physical intelligence.  

Like other subconscious abilities, physical intelligence is invisible when we are not having a problem. We don’t tend to appreciate its importance or its complexity as we are not consciously involved with planning and executing most of our movements. Pouring liquid into a paper cup and picking it up while carrying on a conversation is just one example. Imagine how difficult it would be to program a robot to do this, but we can do this easily and consistently (after hours of practice and spills). Although some people are burdened with extreme deficits in physical intelligence, most of us are on the continuum between the extremes. We aren’t extremely clumsy and we aren’t exceptionally graceful.

Another example of physical intelligence is the ocular motor skills involved in reading. As you are reading this, your eyes are jumping across the screen four times each second while staying in focus and precise alignment. You had to learn to do this as an essential part of the complex process of reading. It is a foundational skill for reading. Getting visual information in quickly and accurately is the first step in the reading process. Unfortunately, it is so basic and works so well for most people that even reading experts often overlook it when considering foundational reading skills.  

When we think of intelligence we think of about learning information, recalling information, and problem-solving. Physical intelligence is equally important because it enables safe and coordinated movement. Moreover, physical intelligence, including effective eye movements, is a prerequisite for perception. Without reliable perception higher-level thinking and problem-solving skills would be compromised.

When a child learns to crawl, they are not consciously sending instructions to all of the muscles and joints involved in a precise sequence like a puppeteer with a marionette. The conscious part of our brain acts like a CEO or General and decides on the goal. It is for all of the workers and soldiers to carry this out and refine their teamwork. The CEO is only aware of the outcome and not the complexity of its execution. The process is amazing and takes hundreds of hours of practice for the brain/body changes to develop and to be refined. A challenge for research is to discover more efficient ways to develop these skills when development is inadequate or when rehabilitation is required.  

When a child is slow to learn to crawl or to walk, we are likely to recognize that children have different levels of physical intelligence and that it develops at different rates for each individual. Learning to write also requires physical intelligence and ocular motor skills but the response to problems with writing tend to be focused on the language components. If the child has inadequate eye-hand coordination to write automatically it is assumed that all that they need to do is to try a little harder, but a child cannot free his conscious thought for spelling and expressing their ideas until the physical intelligence and visual motor coordination are adequate. Our physical intelligence develops though the interplay of nature and nurture. It is a significant component of who we are, how we think and feel, and what we do.

Body schema is an integral part of our physical intelligence. We need to have a subconscious awareness of our body shape, how much space we take up, and our relationship to our surroundings to be able to plan our next move, decide how to reach, and how much to pick up our foot. Vision is an important component of body image. It is only over the last 30 years that there is much more recognition of the importance of the coordination of mind and body for physical and mental health.

For More:

Action in Perception

Reading in the Brain: Part 1

Visual Factors in Reading

Sight Unseen

Melvin Goodale and David Milner

The title of this book emphasizes that most of our visual behavior is subconscious and automatic and cannot be accessed by our conscious minds. The authors are neuroscientists who have spent decades studying rare, severe, specific brain injuries to either of our two primary visual pathways and the affects these defects have on visual behavior. When I was the chairperson of education for the College of Optometrists in Vision Development, we had Melvin Goodale come to speak at an annual meeting because helping patients with gradations of what they are researching defines behavioral and developmental optometry. Systematic research on brain injuries has been contributing to the understanding of brain function for almost 200 years.

The two pathways that they have studied are named for their localization in the brain. The ventral pathway is what everyone would first think of as vision; recognizing objects and people and usually being able to name them. The dorsal pathway controls ocular motor skills (eye movements) and visual motor skills (movement guided by vision). These functions are subconscious. They have been considered hierarchically in the past with perception being considered a “higher cortical function”, but they operate more in parallel than hierarchically. Furthermore, without good eye movements, perceptual learning and utilization is compromised. Vision is our primary sense and the only sense that is dependent on the rapid, accurate movements of its receptors.

Eye movement skills, visually guided movements, and perception each function on a continuum. In the general population, most people’s skills are adequate. If they are not, the resulting behaviors are not usually connected with visual problems because the person is not aware that they have ocular motor or visual motor problems unless there is a sudden deficit due to injury. It is more likely that the person will be judged to be clumsy, disorganized, inattentive, slow, dysgraphic, or dyslexic. Inadequate visual skills can be devastating for highly demanding tasks. If visual deficits are detected, neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to change) enables these abilities to be enhanced through individualized treatments (optometric vision therapy). The oversimplified view of vision which is measured by the ability to see small print across the room is totally inadequate and antiquated. I blogged recently on Why Trust Science? This is another example of how science should be benefiting our lives unless the science is unknown or ignored.

I just reread Longshot, a 30-year-old novel by Dick Francis. The protagonist of the book is an author who has written survival manuals which are based on his personal experience. These skills become central to the story. My inability to provide for our family with a bow and arrow is a visual motor disability, but this is culturally unimportant for me and has been inconsequential in our quality of life. But if my ocular motor disability affected my reading, it would have totally changed my life. I was a “good reader” as a child, but was not an avid reader. Part of the reason for this is because I was very active, which was considered to be normal, but I also had a hidden visual problem. Because my aunt worked for an optometrist, I was examined and received reading glasses. They did not seem like much, but they did make reading easier and more comfortable, which was not logical to me. Being a liberal arts major in college, I did a lot of reading. I then spent four more years reading in optometry school. I did not understand my visual inefficiencies until I was in practice. With new glasses and vision therapy, I started to become a more effective reader. Most people with focusing problems and eye teaming problems are not so fortunate.

It has taken a long time for the importance of behavioral and developmental vision to be recognized and awareness is still inadequate. Only a small percentage of those who would benefit receive appropriate care. Please excuse my inability to resist sharing the following excerpts from Sight Unseen. Drs. Goodale and Milner understand the importance of behavioral vision.

Vision, more than any other sense, dominates our mental life. Our visual experience is so rich and detailed that we can hardly distinguish that experience from the world itself.

Our brain has to make sense of the world, not simply reproduce it. But an even more fundamental problem is that our visual experience is not all that there is to vision. It turns out that some of the most important things that vision does for us never reach consciousness at all.

These two different functions of vision have shaped the way the visual brain has evolved. Rather than evolving some kind of general-purpose visual system that does everything, the brain has opted for two quite separate visual systems: one that guides our actions and another, quite separate system, that handles our perceptions.

For most of us, sight is our pre-eminent sense. We do not just respond to visual stimuli: we see them as integral components of a visual world that has depth, substance and most important of all, a continuing existence separate from ourselves. Vision affects the way we feel, as well as the way we think.

Just as the development of any sophisticated piece of machinery, such as an industrial robot, needs an equally sophisticated computer to control it, the evolution of the primate hand would have been useless without the coevolution of an equally intricate control system. The control of eye movements too has become more sophisticated and has become closely linked with the control of hand movements.

The boundary between perception and knowledge is not a sharp one. Not only does perception inform knowledge, but also knowledge informs perception. Perception, then, is not a passive process.

For More:

Active Vision: The Psychology of Looking and Seeing

Vision Therapy Changes in the Brain

Reading in the Brain

Hivemind: The New Science of Tribalism in Our Divided World

Sarah Rose Cavanagh, PhD

Rose Cavanagh is a psychologist and professor whose research specialty is emotional regulation. She brings a broad perspective to this field including history, anthropology, evolution, and animal studies. To further assure a broad perspective, she traveled to interview others who are studying hivemind from a variety of disciplines.

This question is particularly timely as individuals and organizations are studying prior, unrecognized biases and how these biases influenced decisions. The following paragraph from Robert M. Gates new book, Exercise of Power provides perspective. Robert Gates has participated in decision-making at the highest levels in our government. He has served eight presidents including being Secretary of Defense under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He was a member of the National Security Council in four administrations and head of the CIA.

Too often I have seen groupthink in the Situation Room; too often I have seen those who raise tough, awkward questions derided or silenced by stern, disapproving looks from the fire-breathers; too often I have seen the fear of the consequences of not acting drive action; too often I have seen outrage rather than careful consideration predominate making decisions. Advances in science, technology, engineering, math, and medicine, have not be accompanied by commensurate improvements in making quality decisions based on what can be known.

“Hivemind refers to the extent to which we are capable of entering a state of mind that is more collectively focused, in which we share attention and goals and emotions.” This is an evolved part of our nature. We are social creatures and need to cooperate in groups to survive. Most of what we learn has been learned from our interactions with others, not through individual experience. Most of what we have learned has been learned subconsciously and we act on it subconsciously, particularly in the areas of culture and behavior. The belief that our conscious minds control most of what we do has been disproven.

Although our subconscious minds predominate most of our thoughts and actions, this does not leave us powerless. Awareness of this potential trap is the first step towards greater control. Cognitive reappraisal has been found to be the most effective tool for emotional regulation. Cognitive reappraisal requires the discipline to stop to reconsider your initial, emotion-controlled thoughts. Cognitive behavior therapy has been proven to be effective to change how we think about many problems. Humans are complicated and the world is complicated. One of the biggest challenges in bringing about change is overcoming the temptation of simple, quick fixes.

My favorite example of successful emotional regulation is Abraham Lincoln. He wrote many letters in his moment of anger and frustration which he put away in a drawer until he had time to consider the consequences. It saved him from actions he would later regret and the letters remained in his drawer as a reminder. In light of how fast things happen in the 21st century, it is now even more important to slow down, reconsider the information that we have, solicit additional information, and try to envision all of the potential consequences.   

For More:

Stress and Mindset

The Organized Mind

The Bilingual Brain

Albert Costa

More than half of the world is bilingual and little is known about how the brain achieves the ability to juggle multiple languages rapidly and skillfully. How do nature and nurture combine to learn language and what are the differences between the brains of those who are bilingual and those that are monolingual? “Studying the bilingual brain allows us to explore additional questions about how language interacts with other cognitive domains, such as attention, learning, emotion, and decision-making.”

Albert Costa immediately captures our attention by sharing how early some language skills develop and the clever ways in which researchers probe the language abilities of babies. Infants prefer the sound of their mother’s voice at birth which means that they were learning in the womb. They also prefer the sounds of the language that their mother spoke when they were in the womb. Perhaps even more remarkably, it doesn’t take many months before they can start to segment words from the continuous flow of phonemes they hear as people are speaking to them. The drive to develop language abilities is extremely strong.

“Human beings gather visual and auditory information almost automatically when talking to someone.” The visual abilities of bilingual babies are difficult to believe. “Babies between four and six months old are able to differentiate between French and English by watching videos of people speaking in those languages without sound.” “At eight months bilingual Spanish-Catalan babies are able to discriminate visually between two languages to which they have never been exposed (French and English).”

One of the most powerful discoveries is: “The mere passive exposure to language is not very effective. In fact, social interaction is fundamental for language acquisition, even for learning of representatives as basic as sounds.”

Tell me, I’ll forget

Show me, I’ll remember

Involve me, I’ll understand

This Confucian proverb concludes the prologue of this book. “Social communication is fundamental to the learning of a foreign language. Mere exposure does not seem to lead to such learning.” Since this is true of language, what does it mean for teaching, coaching and therapy? What are the efficiencies of learning via presentations without in person social interaction which has been necessary during the pandemic? While the technology is wonderful, are we deluding ourselves about the applicable learning taking place?

Research in language acquisition and utilization shows similar changes in the brain as does the development of automaticity in visual skills. The brain does not have to work as hard. Tasks that initially required multitasking become unitary. What has been discovered is fascinating at the same time that we realize that we have so much more to learn.

For More:

Function Alters Structure

Vision and Learning: A Guide for Parents and Professionals

Situations Matter

Sam Sommers

Situations matter, but why does this deserve a book and why should we consider reading it? We can all think of ways in which the situation conspicuously influences how everyone thinks and acts. What this book is about is those times in which the situation influences how we think, what we say, and what we do causing us to act in ways inconsistent with the “better nature of our angels” without our awareness of the influence.

The central theme of the book is the fallacy of WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get), which implies that we have core values and a core personality which are easily observed and guide us consistently. This fallacy is disappointing to accept, but the information in the book should convince you that you are not a rare exception. Sam Sommers makes this more palatable through humor, but it is another reason to be humble.

Since this happens very quickly at a subconscious level, it is difficult to control. After passing the acceptance stage, the next challenge is how not to unwittingly perpetuate bias and generalizations. Everyone’s brain is programmed to follow this simple path.

While the dangers of oversimplification is one of my pet peeves, it is not possible to study everything in depth before making decisions. I was speaking with one of our sons last night about an ongoing project to collect everything that was written at the time of the American Revolution which pertains to the conflict. Early historians of the era did not appreciate the importance of understanding the people as we do in our egotistical era. This amount of information would overwhelm most of us, but we don’t need to be an historian to realize that the simplified version of the king was bad, all colonists were patriots, and all colonists were good, does not serve any of the purposes of studying history, how the people were influenced and how they handled those influences. Knowing more increases our potential to do better.

“One of the greatest strengths of the biographical approach to history lies precisely in its capacity to undercut the distorting reductionism to which more abstract arguments are prey.”1 “In spite of your best efforts and deeply held convictions, you’re not as fair-minded a person as you think you are. Few if any of us are.”2

  1. The Old Revolutionaries; Pauline Maier
  2. Situations Matter; Sam Sommers

For More:

Early

The Role of Accommodations in the Management of Visual Problems

Early

Sarah DiGregorio

I found this book to be all that the book jacket promises. Since I cannot improve on that description, the following is directly from the cover of this book.

“The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is a place where humanity, ethics, and science collide in dramatic and deeply personal ways, as parents, physicians, and nurses grapple with sometimes unanswerable questions. When does life begin? When and how should life end? And what does it mean to be human?

The NICU is a place made of stories – the stories of parents and babies who spend days, weeks, and even months waiting to go home, and of the dedicated clinicians who care for these tiny, developing humans. Early explores the fascinating evolution of neonatology and its significant breakthroughs – modern medicine can now save infants at five and a half months gestation who weigh less than a pound, when only fifty years ago there were a few effective treatments for premature babies. Each year, nearly four hundred thousand babies are born prematurely in the United States. When the scope is widened to include the entire world, that number climbs to fifteen million.

For the first time, journalist Sarah DiGregorio tells the rich and complex story of one of the most boundary-pushing medical disciplines – and the many people it has touched. Weaving her own story and those of other parents and NICU clinicians with in-depth reporting, DiGregorio examines the history and future of neonatology: how the first American NICU was set up as a sideshow on the Coney Island boardwalk; how modern advancements have allowed viability to be pushed to a mere twenty-two weeks; the political, cultural, and ethical issues that continue to arise in the face of dramatic scientific developments; and the clinicians at the front lines who are moving to new frontiers. Eye-opening and vital, Early uses premature birth as a window into our own humanity.”

For More:

Developmental Variation and Learning Disorders

Vision: It’s Development in Infant and Child

The Role of Accommodations in the Management of Visual Problems

Accommodations are modifications in the visual demands of a task with the intent of making the task easier. When visual problems are more severe, accommodations will be less effective or totally ineffective. The accommodations that I am going to address here are those that relate to the difficulties that students with healthy eyes have learning and while taking examinations.

The children who would receive that most benefit from accommodations are many children who have undiagnosed visual problems. These children have been able to cope with tracking, crowding, eye-hand coordination, focusing, and eye teaming problems, but school work could be easier for them and they could perform better if the print was bigger, the pages less crowded, they had frequent breaks, and they had more time to complete their work.

Children with diagnosed visual problems typically have more severe visual difficulties. While the above accommodations may still be appropriate, their effects will be limited.

This became personal for me lately due to the need for hip replacement surgery. Prior to the surgery and during the recovery, there were things that I just could not do regardless of accommodations. When I was able to “walk” with a walker and then for short distances with a walking stick, this was still far from walking automatically. I had to attend to walking. I was slow. There was little that I could think of other than walking due to the attention required and the associated discomfort. I fatigued quickly. Other parts of my body hurt from compensating. Student’s visual problems are no less incapacitating. I can look forward to putting this in my past. Without effective treatment, this will not happen for the children with significant visual problems.

A common example is a child who can keep their place much better when they point to each word with their finger. They cannot read without the finger and this can seem like a miracle, but it should not be equated with normal reading. It is similar to walking with a walker. It cannot be smooth. It takes longer. It is more tiresome. Attention is distracted from the reading material (comprehension) to the mechanics of reading. It is clumsy.

We will continue to recommend accommodations as appropriate. We don’t take crutches away from people who need them, but everyone who works with these children cannot forget that the effects of their problems have not been eliminated, even in the short-term.

Ironically, visual problems are less visible than many other problems. When I am walking with my walking stick, everyone knows that I have a problem and they do not expect me to function as if I did not have the problem. That can only happen when my problem is resolved. The same is also true for visual problems.

For More:

Crowding

Tracking

Eye-Hand Coordination

Visual Factors in Reading