Eye Dominance? Yes, It Does Exist!

January 09, 2014

Most people do not realize we all have a dominant eye. Typically it is the same as our dominant hand or foot, but not always. Eye dominance helps to aid in eye-hand coordination, handwriting, cutting, dressing, and other skills children need to develop properly. Sometimes a parent may think a child is doing something awkward or wrong when really he or she is using a different eye than expected in certain activities. It should be noted that having an opposite dominant eye verses hand can cause drawing diagonal lines, shapes, and letters more difficult initially.

Methods to Determine Eye Dominance

You can check for eye dominance after age three through two simple methods. The easier way is by having your child look through a small hole like a magnifying glass, toilet paper roll, or a rolled up piece of paper. Then demonstrate to your child how to look through it, and hand it to him or her. They should put it up to their dominant eye. However, sometimes their eyes may not be organized enough, and they may place the tube between the eyes. If your child is old enough to demonstrate this activity without any physical help, they should at least have a preferred eye.  

The second method is to cut a small one-inch hole in the center of a piece of paper. Then have your child hold it with the hands on opposing sides and bring it up to the face to look through the hole. It helps if you demonstrate and say something like, “I can see you! It’s your turn. Can you see me?”

Remember to consult with your pediatrician for a prescription to see an occupational therapist if your child has visual concerns affecting their learning or play skills. Have a playful day!

Amy Baez, MOT, OTR/L

Amy Baez is a pediatric occupational therapist, award-winning handwriting author, and Founder of Playapy. For more information, visit www.playapy.com or email info@playapy.com.

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