Vision Training with Saccade Pyramids

What is this exercise for?

Saccade Pyramids help to train accuracy of eye movements and ocular coordination. Saccades are the quick movements of the eyes when someone’s gaze shifts from one point to the next. Smooth pursuits are the movements used as we follow an object moving slowly in space. To read, we use a combination of saccades and smooth movements. Some people have poor control of their tracking and eye movements, which can cause problems when reading because the eyes will not be accurately move to the next word or line on a page. Sometimes people will need to hold a finger under each word to guide them where to look: we call this proprioception. By practising moving the eyes from letter to letter without the guide of a finger, the visual system should improve its speed and accuracy of ocular movements.

What will you need?

  • Print-outs with one number/letter pyramid per page

Instructions:

  1. Start at the top of the first page where there is a single letter/number.
  2. Read out each pair of letters/numbers in order until you have reached the bottom of the page. Try not to lose your place! Keep your head still during these exercises, only moving your eyes.
  3. Repeat each page until you are comfortable that you can go through all the letters/numbers quickly and accurately without head movements.
  4. When you can do all the pyramids with lines between the letters/numbers, try the advanced pyramids with no lines to guide you!
  5. Try not to use your finger to point at the next letter/number as this will reduce the effectiveness of the exercise.