• Dr. Kalie Baker

Most Important Skills for Reading

Ah, the skill of being a good reader. The ability to be a good reader has been argued to be one of the most important skills by the wealthiest and most successful people in the world.


Every time we read from a book, a sheet of paper, a computer, or a mobile device, we are performing a visual task using 7 of the 17 vital visual skills. 7 skills. Just to aim our eyes and read?! Yes! Listed below are all of the reading-specific skills we need. Knowing about these and symptoms that can arise from problems can help prevent misdiagnosis with ADD or ADHD or missing a diagnosis of the most common binocular vision disorders, convergence insufficiency, and being held back your entire life like a 55-year-old patient of mine was as children DO NOT OUTGROW these conditions.


As you read through them and feel like you may be struggling with any of these skills of have symptoms of eye movement or visual skill deficiencies, if so, know that there is hope with vision therapy!


When we aim two eyes at the same point simultaneously and accurately, we use:

Skill #1 Eye Movement Control

Skill #8 Simultaneous Alignment at Near

Skill #9 Sustaining Alignment at Near


When we focus both eyes to make the reading material clear, we use:

Skill #4 Simultaneous Focus at Near

Skill #10 Central Vision (Visual Acuity)


When we continue to sustain clear focus, we use:

Skill #5 Sustaining Focus at Near


When we move two eyes continually as a coordinated team across the line of print, we use:

Skill #1 Eye Movement Control

Skill #9 Sustaining Alignment at Near

Skill #15 Fine Visual-Motor


Remembering that vision is MUCH more than just 20/20. As a developmental eye doctor, I can’t help but always want to educate people on the 17 Visual Skills and all the ones that are specifically needed just to read. And when it comes to learning, 80% of what children learn is take in visually.


So it is vital to their academic success and success in everyday activities, as these are not problems children outgrow, that they have well developed visual information processing skills including the visual perception skills.


Feel like you or your little one are struggling with reading or any of the visual skills needed to live your life comfortably, don’t worry! Vision Therapy has incredibly high success rates for various vision conditions and lazy-eyes (or eye-turns as we like to call them). Call our office today to schedule a complete and comprehensive eye and vision exam.

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