Letter Tracking Exercise
There are many different developmental vision problems that can cause problems with reading and writing. A Developmental Optometrist is a professional that specializes in giving exercises to individuals to correct their near point vision and/or developmental vision problems. They do a different type of eye exam than a regular optometrist. For example, an individual can have perfect 20/20 vision but one eye's muscles can be weaker than the other eye. Developmental optometrist can have both eyes of similar strength by patching the strong eye and using special glasses that partially block the vision of one eye but not the other.
Letter Tracking is a neuro-developmental exercise to remediate problems related to near point vision. It also improves scanning speed. This exercise requires the use of a book that can be purchased from Amazon.com called Letter Tracking, a stop watch (or some other way to keep time) and a pencil. If you get their book with reddish-orange paper and red printing, then you can also order a pair of Red Green Glasses. The glasses will partially block the vision of one eye (the strong eye usually) and not the weak eye. As the participant moves along in the book, the task gets more and more difficult through smaller and smaller print. It is the perfect neuro-developmental exercise to strengthen a weak eye and increase visual processing speed as well.
Step by Step Instructions: Letter Tracking Exercise.
1. Start the time on the stop watch.
2. Open the Letter Tracking Book to the first page of letters. If you want to strengthen a weak eye and you have the book with red print, then put on the red and green glasses so that the red lens covers the strong eye. With the pencil, circle the letter a, keep the pencil touching the paper and draw over to the next letter (b) and cirle it. Make sure the participant is circling the letters in a counter clockwise manner. Continue doing this only lifting up the pencil at the end of the line to advance to the next line. Make sure the child is scanning from left to right and from top to bottom. When the child circles the letter the direction of the pencil point should be in a counter-clockwise movement.
3. The participant continues through all of the alphabet. When the z is circled, stop the time. The time is recorded on the page in the space provided. Put how many minutes and seconds it took you to do this exercise. In the future, this becomes the new goal to beat.
4. Only complete one set per day. Do one every day, five or six times per week.
5. If you were using the red and green glasses, spend 2 to 3 minutes doing the Brock String Exercise (this is explained in the vision exercise section). Make sure the glasses are off when you do the Brock String Exercise.
6. Hopefully by the time the participant reaches the end of the book, mastery will have been achieved. You should notice that the participant can quickly circle all letters without skipping any or making any mistakes, with either eye or both eyes.
Exercise:Letter Tracking Exercise.
Time: about 2 to 10 - minutes depending on the skills of the participant.
Recommended Frequency: once a day, 5 or 6 days a week until the end of the book has been reached. Some children may have to do the book two or three times.
Pretest Assessment: participant has trouble scanning and is slow in scanning. The participant may or may not have one eye significantly stronger than the other. If one eye is significantly weaker than the dominate eye, we suggest using the red and green glasses as you do this exercise (only if you have the letter tracking book with the red print.
Mastery: Hopefully when the end of the book has been reached, the participant's scanning ability has significantly improved. Hopefully their ability to circle letters neatly with the pencil has also improved.
Additional comments: If the whole book was completed with the red and green glasses, it may be wise to complete the last three pages without the red and green glasses. This is the state that the child will write in a school setting or in real life. If progress has not been made over time, have the participant examined by a developmental optometrist to find out why. It is likely that additional vision problems exist that are preventiong progress with this exercise.
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