Students with vision problems may easily be able to see the print on the page but may need to do their reading with colored overlays to comprehend the information.
Some students have visual and perceptual problems which means they can’t make meaning from what they see.
For these students reading with colored overlays, which are simply transparent plastic sheets of different colors, will improve their ability to understand because suddenly they can make meaning of the letters they see on the page.
Amazingly nearly 70% of America’s children do not read at grades level according to the NAEP (National Association of Educational Progress) so it is helpful to provide a better visual screening than the traditional eye chart when they enter school.
After all, no child reads their book from 20 feet away while covering one eye.
If, as a teacher or a parent, you notice your child gets tired easily, skips lines, does not want to read or misses punctuation when reading aloud, then you know your child has some type of visual perceptual problem and is not seeing the words on the page the way they should.
At this point it is critical to know that these reading problems are not from lack of intelligence but simply from undeveloped visual skills which is why reading with colored overlays will almost instantly improve comprehension.
Students with dyslexia often have problems processing new information just as students who have visual perceptual problems.
If a child has dyslexia or visual perceptual problems, all their academic subjects will be affected, even physical education and reading with colored overlays can make all the difference in their performance.
You will see your child struggle with reading, spelling, math, and nearly every other subject which requires that they read or have good eye-hand coordination to succeed.
Reading with colored overlays can make all the difference as does a series of eye and brain activities referred to as vision therapy.
If you see your child struggling to read remember there is always a reason, and you will want to find out why.
Give the free Eye-Q Reading Inventory to find out how your child really feels when reading and what the underlying cause of the reading problems are.
When reading with colored overlays, you may suddenly notice that your child does not complain about reading because the colored overlays have cleared up the print on the page and it is easier for your child to understand what was read.
Remember to use praise and build up their self-esteem rather than assume your child is lazy or not intelligent.
Some other ways you can help your child is to use color on whiteboards to make reading easier and change the font to one they tell you they like.
When you give directions, make sure they are specific and give them aloud to help ensure your child understands you.
When reading with colored overlays ensure that the lighting is what is called full spectrum which is just like daylight outside. You can do this by purchasing light bulbs that say that on them – GE Reveal bulbs provide the perfect lighting.
Make sure when your child is on the computer he is reading with colored overlays too – simply tape them over the screen.
If your eyes get tired you may want to try the colored overlays to reduce your visual stress as well.
Make sure you take your child to developmental optometrist and if they need vision therapy, give it to them and you will see a happier, much more relaxed child who will do very well in reading.
When my daughter was in the first grade, I found out she needed vision therapy, and while reading with colored overlays helped a lot, the vision therapy ultimately changed and strengthened her visual skills so that she became an excellent reader.
Today, I am grateful she is physician and credit both reading with colored overlays and the vision therapy for much of her success.
Pat Wyman is the best selling author of Learning vs. Testing and Instant Learning for Amazing Grades. She is also the founder of HowToLearn.com and winner of the James Patterson Page Turner Award for Literacy.
Pat is a reading specialist and university instructor who teaches faster learning strategies and provides classes on reading with colored overlays.
Posted by +Pat Wyman, author and founder of HowToLearn.com