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101 (68%) of 148 dyslexic children had unstable vergence eye movement control (unfixed reference) in the Dunlop synoptophore test. These children tended to make visual rather than phonemic errors when reading and writing; the opposite was true for those with stable control (fixed reference). The 148 dyslexic children were given plano spectacles to wear for 6 months when reading and writing and were randomised to receive either spectacles that had the left lens occluded or untreated ones. The trial was double blind. Conversion from unfixed to fixed reference occurred in 51% of the children who wore occluded spectacles, compared with 24% of those who wore plain spectacles. In the former group increase in reading ability improved by almost 6 months relative to change in age, whereas in those who wore plain spectacles and whose reference did not become fixed reading ability regressed by 0.4 months. The children with unfixed reference who did not benefit from occlusion were those who made not only visual but also phonemic and sequencing errors. Monocular occlusion may thus help one-sixth of dyslexic children to develop reliable vergence control and thereby to read.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





69 - 73


Child, Clinical Trials as Topic, Convergence, Ocular, Double-Blind Method, Dyslexia, Eye Movements, Eyeglasses, Humans, Orthoptics, Random Allocation, Reading, Visual Perception