Is one of the last sentences a parent want to hear! But maybe there is a good reason your child hates reading. Maybe it is because they are working much harder than other children and are falling behind.

You probably haven't heard of convergence insufficiency before. I hadn't heard of it either. Until I had an eight year old boy who could barely read the smallest of words. On one page, he could read the word "the". On the next page, he could no longer read it. It was as if he had forgotten what he was reading. And he had.

He had convergence insufficiency. This means that his eyes could not focus together, on the same object, at the distance he would need them to converge in order to focus on the print he was trying to read from. If he can't focus on the letters, how is he supposed to read them?

A really simple test you can do at home is to find out if your child has convergence insufficiency is to hold a finger out in front of their face, have them look at it, and then move it in towards their nose. Eventually the child should be cross eyed. If one eye wanders off, then their eyes can't focus together.

This is an inherited characteristic. My son inherited it from his father. I didn't check his parents, because they are over 70 and their eyes are wacky anyway. But my son's aunt and his cousin have both inherited the condition. Interestingly, my husband and my son's aunt are also artists. Hmm.

Luckily, with hard work, this condition is correctable. It isn't really fun though. The exercises are re-wiring the brain, which causes stress. My son would feel upset more often when we were going through therapy. But he has gotten through the therapy and is now reading one Encyclopedia Brown book a day. He's 10, so this is a great book series for him.

My husband's condition must not have been as severe as my son's, as he can read well enough to earn a college degree. However, it is a lot harder for him to read. It takes him a lot longer to read the same page that I am reading. And he has never read for pleasure, not even as a child.

Here is a link to the Mayo Clinic -

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