PURPOSE: The accuracy and efficiency of reading related eye movements can affect the reading ability of children and adults. Several clinical procedures are available to evaluate and monitor reading eye movements including the Taylor Visagraph, a computerized device designed to objectively determine the accuracy of reading related eye movements compared to the child's peers. The computer software quantifies multiple items including fixations, regressions and other reading related oculomotor skills that are important for reading. The system also evaluates binocular cross-correlation and grade equivalent scores. The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate the efficacy of oculomotor therapy using the Visagraph as an evidence-based clinical procedure for comparing pre and post-therapy results.
METHODS: Ten patients, ages 7-12, were evaluated for the presence of reading related eye movement dysfunction. This evaluation included a primary care assessment, visual efficiency examination and a Visagraph recording. The Visagraph protocol includes 15 test variables for assessing reading saccades and binocular changes while reading. All of the patients were diagnosed with inadequate reading eye movements and prescribed an appropriate vision therapy plan. The Visagraph was repeated after the completion of an average 10-12 therapy sessions and the pre and post-therapy results were compared.
RESULTS: At the completion of therapy, all patients were reading at or above grade level as measured by the Visagraph. Post-therapy improvement was greater with fixations, regressions, rate, average duration of fixation and saccadic accuracy. Binocular cross-correlation and anomalies also improved. We present the test protocol, all pre and post therapy data and the prescribed vision therapy regimen.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of this pilot study support the clinical value of Vision Therapy as an appropriate treatment method for reading related eye movement disorders. The Visagraph is clinically effective for monitoring and reporting eye movement therapy outcomes.