280 Word Fixations

280 Saccadic Reading/Word Fixations

Purpose: To improve visual fixation and localization prediction on reading material. This is both a challenging and highly effective exercise for building VSA skills for reading.

Equipment/Material: Reading material, metronomebalance board/beam. Reading material to be read for comprehension, so it should be at an appropriate level and not too difficult to begin with. If the child cannot read, you can use any sequence of familiar letters and/or numbers.


  1. While standing, child is to hold reading material comfortably in both hands.
  2. Have the child read the first and last letter of each line while standing. Work down the page this way. Repeat, reading the first and last word.
  3. Try this aloud and silently.
  4. Vary the procedure by moving the target in various patterns (circles, diagonals, near/far)
  5. As performance improves, vary the procedure by standing on the balance board/beam, and by walking.
  6. Read letters or words to the beat of a metronome. Start slowly, 50 bpm, then increase the speed gradually up to 120 bpm if possible.

Aspects to emphasize:

  • • Ability to keep place under various conditions.
  • • Ability to maintain awareness of the rest of the room while doing this exercise.


*Start with justified text (straight edges of text on the left and on the right) and narrower paragraphs like with a newspaper column or paperback novel; later, try justified books on wider pages, or text that is not ‘justified’ like centered text.

*Load this activity by moving the page slowly up and down, in diagonals, or in circles. Keep the page at a comfortable reading distance. Later, you can have the client try this while walking, standing on one foot or on a balance board. You can also use a metronome and try to have the client read the letters out loud at progressively faster rates. Remember, always start at a rate that is easy to succeed with.