Reading Difficulties

Reading is a complex skill. If we look at the dyslexia@bay model of reading we can break the skill of reading down into three stages:

  1. Firstly the eyes track across the each word and then each line.
  2. Secondly we say the words inside our head.
  3. Lastly we make a mental video of what we have read using Visual Dynamic Memory.

Visual Chunk Size Explained

Understanding reading difficulties.

In order to fully understand the reading process and difficulties that are associated with reading we must fully understand stage of the reading process.

Eye-tracking difficulties results in children having difficulty in physically scanning words and lines and/or what they percieve on the page may be distorted.


Our eyes are the fastest moving part of our bodies and while reading the eyes can scan words in a fraction of a second. The co-ordination of the eyes, therefore, is a vital part of the reading process.

In photograph 1 the eyes that are perfectly co-ordinated. The student has is being asked to look at an object that is moving towards the bridge of the nose and both eyes have moved at the same speed.

However, look at photograph 2.

This photograph shows the eyes moving at different speeds. As you can see the left eye has moved faster than the right eye.

To fully understand eye-tracking difficulties, please see the next section.

Example 1

This is a sample taken from the New Scientist magazine which illustrates what it feels like for some children who are reading with a particlur eye-tracking difficulty.

Example 2

The top line is another example from the New Scientist magazine illustrating a different type of eye-tracking difficulty.

Comprehension Difficulties

Many children who are reading with eye-tracking difficulties will devote most of their energy to seeing and saying the words and will have little energy left to remember what they have read. Therefore they will read without comprehension. For a full understanding of comprehesion difficulties click here.