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Comment & Response
May 30, 2019

Accurately Assessing Visual Deficits in Children With Developmental Dyslexia

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Royal Children’s Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
  • 2Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
  • 3Department of Ophthalmology, Queensland Children’s Hospital, South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  • 4Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland, Australia
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2019;137(8):955. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2019.1709

To the Editor The recent article by Raghuram et al1 makes numerous assumptions about the association between eye movements and reading. One important assumption is that the Developmental Eye Movement (DEM) test is a measure of eye movements. However, the original article describing this test2 does not appear to provide any empirical evidence that there is any association between saccadic eye movement and reading. It does not seem sufficient for Raghuram et al to dismiss this assumption with the statement, “Some have questioned whether DEM is a valid measure of saccadic eye movements.”1(p1094) Ayton et al3 have shown that the DEM test does not correlate with saccadic eye movement skill and is closely associated with reading performance. Thus, the DEM may just be a proxy test of reading skill. If this is the case, then the conclusion drawn by Raghuram et al1 that their study demonstrated evidence of eye movement abnormalities in children with developmental dyslexia would seem to be confounded.