Eye Tracker was developed using the principals of neuroplasticity and muscle movement remediation. Every time you experience something or do an activity there are changes to your nervous system. For some people, during early development, the nerves and muscles that move the eyes don’t develop in an optimal way. The person can be left with eye movements that are not as smooth and accurate as is needed for reading, tracking a ball in motion or copying from a white/black board. This can result in:
- regularly jumping over the little words like is, if, a, I, am, at etc.
- joining letters from one word to another because they are not seeing the breaks where they should be. This line may also appear broken rather than straight. Experience what this feels like.
The vestibular-ocular reflex is important for the smooth movement of the eyes. This reflex goes from the vestibular system to the cerebellum and then to the eyes. It allows you to maintain your focus on a point even when your head is moving. This is an automatic process. The cerebellum also happens to be a significant part of the brain when it comes to reading. If this reflex is not working as well as it should or the “wiring” of the cerebellum for its role in reading is not optimal then there is a good chance that you will have difficulty reading.
Outside the Square has been providing exercise and behavior management programs to children with reading, learning and behaviour difficulties for a number of years now. We noted that in particular once the eyes started to move better, the child began to improve in their rate of advancing through reading levels and those who were becoming disengaged from the learning process suddenly reconnected.
It has been very exciting to see the changes in children as they no longer see themselves as ‘dumb’ or ‘stupid’, and moving from requiring remedial assistance to being part of the regular class. Unfortunately this work only allows one on one interactions, which greatly limits the reach and impact of these changes. The Eye Tracker app has been developed as a response to a client wondering if there was some way to make the program readily available to a larger number of people.
You can do all the remedial reading programs in the world but if the eyes are not moving as good as they could be then you are limiting these other good programs. Through the development of Eye Tracker it means that people in remote areas or with limited finances now have the opportunity to work on at least fixing this one area that significantly impacts on their ability to read.