Reading performance in children with low vision

Lovie-Kitchin, Jan E., Bevan, Jennifer D., & Hein, Bronwyn (2001) Reading performance in children with low vision. Clinical and Experimental Optometry, 84(3), pp. 148-154.


Purpose: While educators and optometrists are concerned with reading efficiency in children with low vision, in most low vision assessments, children’s reading performance is assessed only by a brief evaluation of reading fluency. We examined the relationships between clinical vision measures and reading performance in children with low vision. Methods: Subjects were 71 students with low vision, aged seven to 18 years. The vision and reading performance measures were: high contrast distance visual acuity, contrast sensitivity using both the Pelli-Robson and LH symbol charts, near text visual acuity and reading rates on a range of print sizes. Results: Most children achieved maximum reading rate at print sizes between 2.5 and seven times larger than threshold print size. Maximum reading rate increased significantly with age and near visual acuity. There was no significant relationship between reading rate and contrast sensitivity. Conclusions: The majority of children with low vision can achieve near normal reading rates with magnification. Age is the strongest predictor of reading rate in children with low vision. They need print sizes well above threshold to achieve maximum reading rate. Routine contrast sensitivity testing to visually impaired students is not indicated for reading assessments.

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ID Code: 5639
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the journal’s website (see link) or contact the author. Author contact details:
Additional URLs:
Keywords: acuity reserve, magnification, paediatric low vision, reading
ISSN: 0816-4622
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > OPTOMETRY AND OPHTHALMOLOGY (111300)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2001 Optometrists Association Australia
Copyright Statement: The contents of this journal from 1998 to 2005 can be freely accessed online via the journal’s web page (see link).
Deposited On: 01 Dec 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2009 07:16

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