Understanding Motor Skills in Children with Dyspraxia, ADHD, Autism and other Learning Disabilities: A Guide to Improving Coordination

Lisa A. Kurtz

In a little over 100 pages, this book provides an overview of normal motor development, the ways in which motor development can go awry, and how these deficits affect children’s lives. Continue reading

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Risk Savvy: How to Make Good Decisions

Gerd Gigenerzer

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We make many decisions every day. There is no data for most of the decisions that we make and when there is, there is a good chance that we interpret them incorrectly. Because important decisions about health and healthcare are made based on statistics, it is important to understand relative and absolute risks and what the numbers really mean. Here is what the author has to say…. Continue reading

The awe of depth perception…the emotional glue that wires binocular vision

The VisionHelp Blog

We enter this world with two eyes ready to receive information and work together, an experience of which can not be described as a mere summation of two visual signals painting a flat picture in the brain. Instead with two eyes working together, known as binocular vision, there is a synergy of visual function that creates our ability to see our environment as it is with beauty, awe, depth and perspective. This binocular visual experience that provides us with depth perception (called stereopsis, measured as stereo acuity) not only shapes our abilities and  human performance, but also shapes our emotions.

Visual conditions that result in the dysfunction of binocular vision will typically reduce or impair an individual’s ability to have normal depth perception leaving them to experience a visual world that is flat, without the ability to see “pockets of space”. These vision problems of binocular vision are not rare…

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Scanning

Scanning is used to find an object, a person, or a word. This is usually simple for most adults, but not always (such as men looking into a refrigerator). As is true for many skills that have become automatic, it is easy to overlook the complexity involved and how difficult it is to learn.

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Scanning requires sequential eye movements and fixations. It requires visualizing the desired object and maintaining that image while looking at other objects. This is particularly challenging if the other objects are either distracting or similar to the object in question. When this is the case, the load on working memory increases and it becomes more difficult. If we are looking for our sneakers, that is one level of challenge. If we are looking for tomato soup amongst other soups or a phrase on a page, that is very different. It can be like singing one song while listening to another. If the eye movements are random, the fixations too brief, or if the visualized image fades, we will not succeed. Scanning requires sustained vigilance.

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The inability to scan efficiently wastes time and is frustrating. The quality of scanning reflects a person’s organization. They are both disciplined, sequential, and require working memory. Academically, scanning is important when we are copying so we can find our place when looking back-and-forth. It is important when finding information, such as answers to a question in a passage that has been read. If a child needs to start to read a passage over, it will be time-consuming and they will inevitably forget what is was that they were looking for. Scanning requires the integration of top-down processing (keeping the image in working memory and filtering everything else that is seen) and bottom-up processing (directing the eyes with a goal-oriented priority). Scanning is one of the skills developed in optometric vision therapy.

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Visualization

The Effect of Saccadic Training on Early Reading Fluency

Solutions for your child who struggles in school starts by knowing what to ask your eye doctor

Vision and Learning: A Guide for Parents and Professionals

The Effect of Saccadic Training on Early Reading Fluency

On May 1, 2014, the journal Clinical Pediatrics posted the paper “The Effect of Saccadic Training on Early Reading Fluency”. This is not an optometric publication. Making more professionals aware of the importance of vision to reading and learning and that vision therapy can improve deficient skills will enable more children to receive appropriate care. Continue reading

The American Spirit

David McCullough

After writing his first book which was about the Johnstown flood, David McCullough decided that the stories that he wanted to research and share were about character. His books have shown what is good in people and what can be accomplished especially when people work together, while making sure that we can identify with them by showing that they were also human and, like all of us, had flaws.

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He emphasizes that they did not live in the past; they lived in their present. The American Spirit is a selection of his speeches. Because they were spoken and because they were brief, the messages are explicit. The following are some of his words that caused me to stop and ponder. I hope that they have the same effect on you. Continue reading