Could a vision problem be causing my child's reading struggles?

My child reverses letters, skips words and lines and says the words are "jumping around" on the page.  Should I have his eyes checked?

All children should have vision screening (at school and/or at during their well-child check-up with their primary care doctor).  As long as that screening is normal it is unlikely that an eye problem is causing these symptoms and reading problems.

In struggling readers letter reversals and other similar symptoms are common, but they are rarely caused by problems with the eyes.
As Sally Shaywitz, MD explains in her book, Overcoming Dyslexia a person with dyslexia has trouble identifying and sequencing speech sounds in words and that causes weak letter-sound associations and disrupts formation of word form memories.

It is always interesting to see these visual complaints disappear when the dyslexic child is taught using a structured language approach that provides a salient, explicit way to remember each letter-sound association,
focuses attention on the regular word patterns and provides intensive and structured practice.  Brain imaging research shows how this kind of therapy helps the dyslexic brain form more efficient reading circuits. 

Shaywitz brain images.jpg

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