Imagine trying to learn with blurry vision, eye strain, or headaches. Vision is one of the most important learning tools a child has. Undiagnosed vision problems can impede a child’s education. Some children do not even know or can describe a vision problem they may have because they have always had it, or it has progressed so gradually.
Because of cost or convenience, it may be tempting to rely on school-provided vision screenings, but these are simple vision acuity tests and only show part of the picture of a child’s visual health. School screenings are missing up to 75% of children with vision problems or problems with eye health. A child who can see clearly and has 20/20 vision can still have eye health problems.
As children progress through their education, they face increasing demands on their visual abilities. The size of print in textbooks gets smaller and the amount of time spent reading increases. To meet these demands a child should have the vision skills to be an effective learner:
• Visual acuity
• Eye Focusing
• Eye Tracking
• Eye teaming
• Hand-to-eye coordination
• Visual perception
Without a comprehensive eye exam from an Optometrist, many eye and vision disorders go undetected, or worse a child may be misdiagnosed as having ADHD, dyslexia, another learning disability, or a behavior problem. Signs of vision problems that are less obvious to watch for are:
• Difficulty completing tasks.
• Not performing up to their full potential
• Difficulty working alone and following directions.
• Difficulty organizing and prioritizing work and time.
• Heavy reliance on pictures or auditory memorization
• Lack of interest in books or reading
• Disruptive or inattentive in class
Much of a child’s learning is visual, a child lacking visual skills may be lacking a substantial portion of their education. Future success in life, not just school, is at stake. Future success will be built on a not so solid educational foundation if not given all the advantages of good vision.