Why Poor Eye Tracking and Spatial Awareness Skills Affect #Reading

Eye tracking & spatital 1

Eye tracking is the ability to control and coordinate the fine eye movements that allows us to:

  • Read a line of print by moving our eyes from left to right, without moving the head.
  • To focus and move the eyes to follow an object, without moving the head, in all directions.
  • To track/follow objects near and far.
  • To focus on one object without moving the eyes.

Eye tracking difficulties can have a dramatic effect on a child’s ability to read fluently and with ease due to the fact that they do not see the print in the same way as people with good eye tracking skills.

Typical problems due to poor eye tracking skills:

  • They lose their place, skip words or transpose them.
  • They use a finger to help keep their place.
  • Some will turn their head sideways to read or write.
  • Others may cover one eye to read.
  • They hold their head close to the table when looking at things, reading, writing and drawing.

Good spatial awareness enables us to be aware of the space around us and our position in that space, as well as the relationship between ourselves and objects. This also includes our ability to see and understand the spacing of text and pictures on a page, to distinguish between paragraphs, sentences, words and individual letters.

Spatial awareness difficulties can have a dramatic effect on a child’s ability to read fluently and with ease due to the fact that they do not see the print in the same way as people with good spatial awareness skills.

Typical problems due to poor spatial awareness skills:

  • They lose their place, skip lines and words or transpose them.
  • They use a finger to help keep their place.
  • Comprehension can be difficult as text is mis-read.

For more information on how to identify eye tracking and spatial awareness difficulties as well as activities to help support and develop these skills use these links (they will take you to the relevant pages on our Teach Handwriting website):

2 thoughts on “Why Poor Eye Tracking and Spatial Awareness Skills Affect #Reading

  1. Jane Hudson May 14, 2020 / 7:12 am

    You have some useful stuff here. I object to the sentence “about the age of 4 children develop the ability to hear the syllables in words”. I’ve not quoted it accurately sorry. Where is your evidence for this? Most of the world starts formal teaching at age 6 or 7 with very good results. Too much pressure at an early age can disadvantage children.

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    • lucyteachchildren May 14, 2020 / 9:51 am

      Hello Jane, we are a UK based information site and the information is there for based on the education systems and teacher training for the UK. I agree that too much pressure at an early stage can be a disadvantage for many children. However, we believe that playing sound and word games with young children, through play, is a very important part of their early language skills development. There is a plethora of information and research on The development of phonological awareness in pre-school and early stages of school by psychologist, speech & language therapist and other education and curriculum experts that supports the view that many children by the age of about 4 can hear syllables in words and play syllable based games. You may find the work and research of J.M Carroll, M.J Snowling and C Hulmes and J Stevenson, K.L Johnson & B.A Roseman and R Paul and others very interesting.

      Like

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