Reading Opens a Whole New World

Article written by Dr. Lynn Hellerstein, Developmental Optometrist September 2010,

Reading is a very complex task that requires  a number of skills such as:

  • Decoding (breaking down the words) sight word recognition (seeing a word and immediately knowing the word)
  • Comprehension (understanding what the story is about).

Some educators feel strongly that reading is totally a language based activity and that vision is not related to reading. My response to them is, “OK, then cover your eyes and read!”  Since reading is necessary for almost every class in school, it is a priority to master. How can you help your child become a good reader?

  • Show your child why reading can be so much fun! Make it “movie” time when it’s reading time.
  • Model the visualization strategy for your child. Modeling starts at infancy – (see page 133 in See It. Say It. Do It!)
  • Read to your child, even as an infant.
  • Allow your child to create his own visualizations or pictures and share them with others.
  • Integrate visualization into daily activities.

The process of developing reading comprehension starts from imaging pictures, and then proceeds to word imaging, sentence imaging, sentence interpretation, paragraph imaging, and then eventually reading comprehension.

Use descriptive books, full of imagery, such as:

Maurice Sendak’s delightful book, Where the Wild Things Are. (That very night in Max’s room, a forest grew and grew and grew until his ceiling hung with vines and the walls became the world all around.)   When you read that one sentence, what do you see?   What kind of pictures popped up in your head?   What do you think your child might imagine?  Depending on the ages of your children, choose an appropriate level story that provides excellent descriptive passages.

Books that you might read in addition to those already mentioned throughout this article include:

  • The Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne
  • Dr. Seuss books by Theodor Seuss Geisel
  • Danny Schnitzlein’s The Monster Who Ate My Peas
  • Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney
  • J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

The good news is that there are terrific and imaginative books published every year, just waiting to be discovered by you and your child. A great resource is the children’s librarian at your nearest public library, or the one at your child’s school. Don’t forget to ask your child’s teacher for recommendations as well.  If your child is struggling in this developmental process, additional reading tutoring, language therapy, and/or vision therapy may be necessary.

Give your child a gift of a lifetime! Visualize your child
as a successful student and confident kid. To learn
more, check out my award-winning book See It. Say
It. Do It!

To read more about Dr. Hellerstein and to watcher her videos on her book See It. SayIt. Do It! and the importance of complete vision checks click here


Comments (2)

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  1. shemal says:

    Excellent post. Thanks.

  2. CC says:

    Couldnt agree more with that, very attractive article

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