Updated: Feb 26, 2019
Eliminating The Midline Barrier For Improved Reading Efficiency
Every child is born with a midline barrier. This is the inability of the eyes to track across the body. Normal daily physical activities help the eyes integrate and track smoothly from left to right and right to left. By the age of seven the eyes should be integrated and track smoothly. Not all children participate in adequate physical activities to eliminate the midline barrier, which allows for smooth eye track- ing. The problem of children having a midline barrier could be the untreated etiology for reading failure.
Each brain hemisphere controls the opposite side of the body. By intentionally moving an opposite arm or leg across the midline, the brain sends electrical synapses to both brain hemispheres at the same time, creating and myelinating better neural connections over the corpus callosum. These movements help children coordinate not only gross motor skills, fine motor skills, coordination between upper and lower body, but also help integrate binocular vision and binaural hearing.
Eye tracking is the ability of the eyes to effectively team together to follow an object. When there is not fluid communication between the brain’s hemispheres, the eyes compete for dominance in the overlap area or midline, switching on and off. (This causes reading difficulties, word reversals and lack of integration in the vision midfield). Tracking exercises, target games and navigational activities exercise eye muscles making the eyes more fit to read. Watching TV screens/video games cause eye muscle atrophy due to locked (eyes) into constant distant vision. In this era of electronic devices and watching screens this is becoming more prevalent.
The IPM program has specific activities to improve eye tracking and eliminate the midline barrier thereby allowing the child to perform better at reading, writing, math and test taking.
With kids in mind,
Dr. David Biles
Dr. Biles taught for 28 years in Elementary Physical Education. Three time award winner for Program of Excellence in the county. His dissertation on the above showed an average of 10 months reading improvement in just 10 weeks of physical activities. The control group only improved 4 months in the same time period. This was repeated 14 times with an average improvement as much 1 full year. Some students improved as much as four schools years.