Good vision leads to success at school and beyond.
Regardless whether your child needs corrective lenses or not, they may still be experiencing difficulty with their vision. There are many other visual factors besides “20/20” vision that can affect your child’s learning abilities. Children who have poor tracking skills may find difficulty with reading yet they see very well off a chart. Children who are short sighted may perform very well when reading but have difficulty seeing the board at school.
Key skills that promote healthy learning that we exam for are:
The ability of your child’s eyes to move accurately and smoothly across a page while reading is crucial to promote efficient reading skills.
In class your child should be able to smoothly change his/her focus from near to far and back again. Classroom activities specifically require this ability when copying and writing off the board
Eye alignment and Binocular vision
Your child’s eyes may work perfectly independently of each other but do they work well together? Binocular vision and proper eye alignment is vital for depth perception –stereopsis and crisp single vision. If their eyes are not aligned either at distance, near or both it is very likely they could be experiencing double vision. Sometimes these conditions are hard to explain for your child and only are diagnosed during their eye exam. Tell-tale signs of this would be if you notice your child close one eye while reading or watching TV.
Visual-motor coordination and Perception
Many activities are aided with proper visual-motor and perceptions skills. Beyond the classroom where these eye-hand coordination skills ensure good handwriting, art and spatial perception, they also aid in outdoor/indoor sports activities such as catching, kicking throwing etc. Having excellent visual-motor and perception skills ensures success in and outside the classroom. A lack of balance or perception difficulties between the two eyes can have a negative effect on both academic and non-academic school performance.
Undetected vision problems can cause harm in many different ways
Many times a child will come to our offices with parents concerned about possible ADD/ADHD related issues. Their Teachers may also have expressed such concerns. Is it possible it may simply be your child’s poor vision is causing a lack of concentration issues? The short answer is YES!! An untreated vision problem can present with symptoms similar to ADD/ADHD. During the course of a comprehensive child’s exam any untreated or undetected learning related vision difficulty will be corrected. Ignoring or missing these conditions may have a bigger impact than just poor vision. Many children are stigmatized or misdiagnosed with conditions they may not have. This can result in behavioral and/or social issues at school.
Studies have shown that up to 25% of students, grades K-6, face vision-related problem resulting in poor school performance Visual Systems of the eye grow rapidly during younger stages of life which is why it is important to maintain regular eye care visits for your children. The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends annual exams for children starting at the age of 6months
Learning Related Vision Signs and Symptoms to watch out for:
- Closing one eye while reading or watching TV
- Poor handwriting
- Poor concentration in class or other visual related tasks
- Showing an poor interest or distracted while reading
- Reversing of letters when writing
- Headaches or eyestrain
- Avoiding homework particularity reading tasks
If your child shows any of the above signs or symptoms schedule an appointment with one of our experienced optometrists at either Brampton or Mississauga. Upon completion of your child’s comprehensive vision exam our doctors will advise you which treatment option would be most beneficial.