Vision & Learning
Research indicates that vision is a major factor in a child’s ability to take in and respond to classroom instruction. A great deal of what children learn is received through the visual system, and depends on a child’s eyes working with each other and the brain to collect and interpret information.
It is well known that untreated nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism can affect classroom performance. But difficulties with changing focus to another distance, both eyes “teaming” together, and uncontrolled eye movements, to name a few, also require excess effort to overcome and may interfere with visual information processing, often leaving a child with little mental energy left to comprehend and remember.
These processing problems can lead to children feeling overwhelmed, and can manifest themselves across the board, from reading, writing and math, to playground activities and social relationships. And unfortunately, children with learning-related problems usually don’t speak up; they don’t realize they can experience the world in a different way.
The College of Optometrists and Vision Development asks that parents and teachers look for the following signs FIRST when a child is struggling academically, behaviorally or in sports. If the response to one or more of the following is yes, the child may have a vision problem that can be addressed and treated through an individualized Vision Therapy program.
- one eye turning in or out
- squinting, eye rubbing or excessive blinking
- blurred or double vision
- headaches or dizziness after reading
- head tilting, closing or blocking one eye when reading
- avoids “near” work
- frequent loss of place when reading
- omits, inserts or rereads letters/words
- confuses similar looking words
- poor reading comprehension
- letter or word reversals after the 1st grade
- difficulty copying
- poor handwriting, misaligns numbers
- book held too close to eyes
- attention deficit disorder
- behavioral problems
- working below potential
- adept outside of school
- low self-esteem
- temper flare-ups, aggression, irritability
- short attention span
Optometric Vision Therapy has been successfully used in the treatment of vision problems for more than 75 years. It’s proven results are derived from vision-based neurological and neuromuscular conditioning over time. It is designed to improve overall visual function and performance, with measurable gains in visual and processing skills, as well as an improvement in quality-of-life.