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Reno optometrist offering free literacy program

A local optometrist says he found a condition responsible for delaying reading development and...
A local optometrist says he found a condition responsible for delaying reading development and comprehension in 20 percent of people he screened during his 36-year-career, but he says the solution is simple.(Lions Club)
Published: Jun. 14, 2022 at 3:02 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - A local optometrist says he found a condition responsible for delaying reading development and comprehension in 20 percent of people he screened during his 36-year-career, but he says the solution is simple.  

Your eyes don’t glide smoothly over the letters as you read. Instead, they jump from point to point.

The complex process is called jump eye movement.

It requires the simultaneous and coordinated use of 12 different exterior eye muscles, four internal eye muscles, and four separate nerves in the brain.

Anyone who struggles with jump eye movement can take rest in the fact that this is a learned skill and can be easily improved with a program called “Read Between the Lions”.

It’s named after the Washoe County Lions Club because it’s responsible for co-creating the program along with retired Reno Optometrist, Dr. Richard Meier.  

He says he has introduced this program to schools across the world with positive results.

Dr. Meier recalls his conversation with one educator. He said, “The teacher then said, ‘Hey these kids want to read rather than they have to read’.

If they want to read that’s a whole different world,” said creator of Read Between the Lions Program and retired Optometrist, Dr. Richard Meier.  

The program is simple. A person starts by simply reading a series of numbers from left to right and top to bottom as a metronome plays.

The scores from three eye tests are added to determine if a person is able to effectively use jump eye movements to read and comprehend important visual cues in the world around them.

The program then offers exercises for anyone who wants to improve. The focus is not on where a person is at, but rather the improvement they have made and can make.

”And you see them winning. When you have a child winning that’s a whole different attitude than being told your dumb, lazy, or stupid,” said Dr. Meier.

Dr. Meier says this program is for everyone. It can make the most advanced reader better and it can help treat all kinds of other problems.

”Strokes, or head injuries, or trauma, or tumors, glaucoma or macular degeneration, that did this program and saw that they actually got better,” Dr. Meier.    

Dr. Meier says the success stories he witnessed over his 36-year career push him to share this program for free.

”It makes my heart swell. I didn’t want this program to stop because I had too many kids that now can do what they want to do,” Dr. Meier said.     

Click here to download and print this program.

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