How it works

Eye Tracker combines the latest in brain research on neuroplasticity with effective, proven eye muscle remediation methods to treat eye tracking problems.

The Eye Tracker app is designed to be used on a device the size of a smart phone. It is currently available for the iPhone/iPod touch only. Eye Tracker takes you through a twenty week graduated exercise program with written and video instructions.

To get the full range of eye movement you are guided through exercises that require you to move the device while the child is watching an image on the screen. Each exercise is designed to take about seven minutes, has inbuilt timing and needs to be done twice a day for six days, giving you one day of rest in seven. Eye Tracker is very specific in the way it takes you through the program.

The recommended age group is five years of age and upwards. For best results the exercises need to be done under supervision, however it is possible for a teenager or adult to do most of the exercises on their own. If using Eye Tracker on your own, you may perform the exercises a little inaccurately, therefore reducing the effectiveness of the program also there are a couple of exercises that would be very difficult to do on your own.

Mobile App development by Gridstone

Success stories

We saw Neil for our son who was having difficulties concentrating and paying attention to what was going on in the classroom and also having problems reading. The teacher noticed this in prep.
Lachlan male aged 5 1/2 Read more stories
Kurt...was really struggling with his reading...To my amazement Kurt's reading moved up 7 levels within a term!
Kurt Male aged 6 Read more stories
In Prep Lachy was struggling storing his sight words, reading and his fine motor skills were very limited... he was frustrated, angry and didn't want to do his homework... Now he can read...His behaviour is a lot calmer and he isn't as angry or frustrated. He is happy to sit with me and read a book.
Lachlan Irving Male aged 6 Read more stories
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The theory of neuroplasticity


The structure and function of neurones change based on activity in a particular area, whether that is thoughts or physical activity. Essentially anything that stimulates the nervous system can help to maintain a neural (nerve) pathway or develop a new one.

Eye Tracker was developed using the principals of neuroplasticity. 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 whiteboard.

This can result in reading difficulties that involve them regularly jumping over the little words like is, if, a, I, am, at etc. They may also join letters from one word to another because they are not seeing the breaks where they should be. It is also possible that a line of writing is broken up rather than being seen as straight.

The vestibular-ocular reflex is important for the smooth movement of the eyes. This reflex goes from the vestibular system in the inner ears to the cerebellum in the brain 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, hence the term ‘reflex’. The cerebellum also happens to be a significant part of the brain when it comes to reading. If this vestibular-ocular reflex is not working as well as it should or the cerebellum is ‘wired’ poorly for reading, there is a good chance that you will have difficulty reading.

The part of the brain that Eye Tracker is targeting to help with eye movement and reading is the cerebellum. In saying this we recognise that it is more complex than simply targeting a single part of the brain, and Eye Tracker does more than just work on the cerebellum.

Dr. Norman Doidge, a leading researcher in the field of neuroplasticity states that neuroplasticity is “The property of the brain to change its structure and function”.
 



 


 

The cerebellum is known to be involved with:

  • coordination (all muscle movement, including eye movement)
  • concentration (more to do with filtering out other stimuli than purely concentrating. A lot of children with reading difficulties also find it difficult to filter out other stimuli and are in fact trying to concentrate on everything)
  • academic skills (reading, writing, spelling, maths)
  • memory (short term working memory. It’s not uncommon for children with reading difficulties to also find it difficult to retain more than one or two pieces of information where the average person can hold four to six without any real effort)
  • planning (being organised)
  • thinking (this is the automated fast filtering of our thoughts so that we don’t act on every impulse. It’s not uncommon for children with reading difficulties to hear someone say something in class and think “that person’s in trouble” and THEN realise they are the ones in trouble. Richard Lavoie calls these children the ’Ready - Fire - Aim’ children)
  • emotions (although emotions do not originate in the cerebellum, the cerebellum does help moderate emotions and connect our body to them)

Eye Tracker is designed to work on the ‘rewiring’ of the cerebellum specifically for reading but it comes as no surprise that the benefits being reported cover a broad range of areas including maths, attention, hyperactivity, writing, and spelling, to name a few. Having said that, the primary purpose of Eye Tracker is to help remediate eye movements to facilitate reading.

The following links will take you to research on the role of the cerebellum in a range of areas:

While this research shows a link between the cerebellum and these areas it must be understood that each of these problems are complex and involve many factors and multiple parts of the brain. The main point we are trying to make here is that, based on the research, the cerebellum is a common factor with all of the above plus eye movement and reading and therefore cannot be ruled out as insignificant.

 


 

Muscle movement remediation

Muscle movement remediation requires that you begin slowly and gradually work your way up to the more complex using a full range of movement.

For example, if you have broken your leg and had it in a cast for six weeks you would not expect to have full strength and range of movement within a couple of days. The therapist will give you graduated exercises including a full range of movement.

Eye Tracker uses the same principles. This includes getting you to move your eyes to their extremities as well as closer and further away. We have chosen to use a small hand held device for the app because this allows you to follow it and get a full range of movement. We found that it was not possible to do this on a regular computer screen especially when trying to get divergent and convergent eye movements. We give special thanks to Dr. Clinton Woodward (computer/human interface expert) for his help with this and suggesting we go to a smart phone sized device and move the device instead of objects moving around a screen. We believe that limiting Eye Tracker to a computer screen would also limit its potential. Our aim is for you to get the best results possible.