Reading Tips For Visual Stress

eye tracking If your child is struggling with reading and it’s not because they are struggling with phonic skills they might be having problems with eye tracking and / or visual stress.

To be able to tell if your child is having these problems you have to recognise the symptoms.

Firstly, can your child can read words individually or a list of words  perfectly well but struggles when faced with reading a paragraph of text?

Do you find that they jumble the letters up in words or pick up letters and words from the line above or below?  You may not know if they do this right now so next time you hear them read watch when they make a mistake.  Are they reading another word of confusing that word with a similar word on another line?

Certain Opticians offer eye tracking and visual stress tests but ensure to ask if they offer this before you book as not all do.

Watch the video for some tips on how to help your child overcome their difficulties with some eye tracking exercises and ideas for helping them focus on the words they are reading.

Visual Stress is different from eye tracking problems but can exhibit similar symptoms.  Visual Stress is also known as Irlen’s Syndrome and causes sufferes to have difficulty reading black text on a white background.

As well as the above symptoms your child may also complain of headaches when they read, text moving on the page, blotches appearing like ink stains, halos around letters and  feeling sick.

There is a very simple and inexpensive way to test for visual stress by using set of tinted reading rulers.  These are simply placed over the text and your child will know instantly if they help.  They are available in 10 colours so you test each one in turn to see if it stops all the symptoms described above.

This video has some tips for helping children read when they have eye tracking problems.  Please leave me a comment at the bottom after you have watched.


  1. Sally-Jayne says:

    Thanks Sue. I always love your videos and this is no excpetion. I love the tip about getting children to writea word out if they are struggling. I can think of a couple of children that I think will benefit from using this technique.