Visual Impairments

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Visual impairments come in many forms and can have a significant impact on a child’s reading and educational development. The results often lead to frustration, avoidance of reading activities, and a slower pace of learning.

Common effects include:

  • Difficulty seeing text clearly.

  • Eye strain and fatigue.

  • Headaches and physical discomfort.

  • Difficulty following lines of text.

  • Poor comprehension and retention.

  • Reduced reading fluency.

  • Avoidance behaviour.

  • Low self-confidence.

  • A negative attitude towards reading.

  • Impact on educational development.

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Creating a supportive and patient learning environment can help build the child’s confidence and interest in reading despite their visual challenges.’

Pauline Tait

It is not always possible to address all causes of visual impairment. But, where it is possible, including supportive reading strategies alongside a supportive and patient learning environment can help build a reluctant reader’s confidence and interest in reading.

A conversation with your school’s support for learning teacher (whether your child is under their guidance or not) can be of significant help. They can provide/advise on ways of making reading easier, including the use of Irlen Overlays.


Common improvements include:

  • Enhanced reading fluency.

  • Increased reading comprehension.

  • Reduced eye strain and fatigue.

  • Improved concentration.

  • An increase in confidence.

  • An enjoyment of reading

  • Improved educational development.

  • Motivation to read.

These improvements then lead to a more positive and productive reading experience, potentially resulting in notable improvements in a child's educational journey and enthusiasm for reading.

Call to Action

This week’s call to action is to explore alternative methods of introducing reading to visually impaired reluctant readers. Given the diverse nature of visual impairments and their effects, it’s hard to be more precise here. However, reaching out to your reluctant reader’s school, particularly the support for learning teacher, and consulting with their optician and medical professionals can provide valuable assistance. Schools often have access to visual aids, online programs, apps, and resources that could significantly aid efforts to encourage reading at home.

Sometimes, something as simple as an Irlen Overlay can make all the difference.

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