The prevalence of poor ocular motilities in a mainstream school compared to two learning-disabled schools in Johannesburg

  • Metsing I
  • Ferreira J
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Abstract

Background: Ocular motilities play a major role when reading for the continuous acquisition and updating of visually presented information. Accurate oculomotor control is required to be able to learn how to read and to efficiently read to learn. This process requires accurate decoding accomplished by precise oculomotor control.Aim: A comparison of the prevalence of poor ocular motilities between mainstream and learning-disabled schools were explored from three different schools; one mainstream and two disabled schools. One hundred and ninety-two children, age range 8–13 years (mean = 10.30, s.d.: ± 0.999) in grades 3 and 4, with 112 children from the two learning-disabled schools and 80 children from the mainstream school participated in the study.Method: The standardised direct observation test, using the Northeastern State University College of Optometry scoring criteria, was used to evaluate saccadic and pursuit eye movements. Fixation maintenance was evaluated using the Southern California College of Optometry scoring criteria. The Gulden fixation stick with a 6/24 letter E was used as a fixation target.Results: The results showed that children from the learning-disabled schools appeared to have a higher incidence of poor saccadic accuracy compared with children from the mainstream school. No significant associations in both the mainstream and the learning-disabled children were found for head movements, pursuits and fixation ability. However, the results suggest a statistically significant association between poor saccadic accuracy and children from the learning-disabled schools. Conclusion: This study provides further evidence for a link between poor saccadic accuracy and children from the school of the learning disabled. Keywords: Ocular motor dysfunction, saccadics, pursuits, learning disability, schools, fixation ability, visual attention

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Metsing, I. T., & Ferreira, J. T. (2016). The prevalence of poor ocular motilities in a mainstream school compared to two learning-disabled schools in Johannesburg. African Vision and Eye Health, 75(1). https://doi.org/10.4102/aveh.v75i1.328

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