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What is Visual Tracking?

Visual Tracking is a common term applied to a function of eye movement abilities that is otherwise known in the optometric literature as “ocular motility” or “oculomotor function”. In general this refers to the ability to quickly and accurately look, visually follow a moving object and efficiently move our eyes so we can fixate on objects from point to point as in reading.

This skill is important for almost all daily activities, including reading, writing, cutting with scissors, drawing, and playing.

Indications of Visual Tracking problems:

  • Moving head excessively when reading
  • Skipping lines when reading
  • Omitting words and transposing words when reading
  • Losing place when reading
  • Requiring finger or marker to keep place when reading
  • Experiencing confusion during the return sweep phase of reading
  • Experiencing illusory text movement
  • Having deficient ball-playing skills

It may also cause:

  • Poor reading comprehension.
  • Short attention span
  • Confusion with interpreting or following written directions.
  • Writing on a slant, up or down hill, spacing letters and words irregularly.
  • Confusion with left/right directions.
  • Persistent reversals of letters (b, d, p, q) when naming letters.
  • Reverses letters when writing
  • Errors when copying from a chalkboard or book to paper.
  • Misalignment of horizontal and vertical series’ of numbers in math problems.

Not all of these difficulties indicate a visual tracking problem but continued persistent occurrence warrant further investigation with the appropriate professionals.

Further information is available on The Visionhelp Blog website and more widely on the internet.

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