Rule Out Vision
Vision is almost always overlooked by parents and educators
as one of the roadblocks a child may be encountering.
Most people believe school vision screenings or pediatric wellness checks are enough to properly assess good vision, because they believe that having
20/20 acuity, or seeing clearly in the distance, is enough.
Schools that do vision
screenings are usually only checking eyesight when they have kids read
letters on a chart (usually a Snellen eyechart) across the room. This
only detects 20-30% of vision problems
in children and most do not even check acuity up close.
Just discussing refractive errors, most kids are actually farsighted, not nearsighted,
in elementary school. This means they have more difficulties seeing
up close than they do far away.
Most kids will pass
a school screening but still have trouble focusing up close, sustaining
that focus over a short period of time and/or have difficulties changing
their focus quickly from far to near. Obviously these skills are essential
in activities such as reading efficiently, reading comprehension and
copying from the board, yet they are just a few of the essential skills needed for academic success.
If a child does not have a good visual foundation, their system is not efficient
enough to handle large work loads because it puts too much stress on such a
weak system. Efficient visual skills can help provide a solid foundation for learning.
A poor visual system can lead to poor performance in school.
Vision dysfunctions are treatable. The
earlier vision problems are detected and treated, the less time a child may fall behind or have to work hard to maintain their grades in school. If a child is struggling, it is important that you rule out a vision problem. Removing any visual obstacles can provide more opportunities for success.
Following is a list of signs and symptoms that could mean your
child has a vision problem:
Signs & Symptoms of Vision Problems
school vision screening
Failed eyechart (acuity) test
- Other Professional
Behind in school
Not working up to potential
Poor or short attention span
Reads below grade level
- Lose place frequently
- Holds material too close
- Poor comprehension
- Skips lines
- Repeats lines
- Adds extra words
Has an eye that turns in or out
Poor eye movements
Poor hand-eye coordination
Scores low on standardized tests
- Covers an eye
- Turns head to side
- Complains of blur or double vision
- Eyes itch or burn
- Eyes hurt
- Reverses letters/words (>3rd grade)
Trouble in spelling or language arts
Trouble copying from chalkboard
Trouble copying from books
Failed depth perception/fusion tests
- Cannot stay on line
- Crowds letters
- Eyes too close to paper
- Grips pencil incorrectly
- Rich vocabulary, but not on paper
Excessive effort needed to achieve
Not working up to potential
Diagnosed with a learning disability
Trouble in sports
Does not work well on their own
For another list of problems that can be seen in a classroom, check out the
educator's checklist by clicking here.
Do you suspect your child has a vision problem?
If you suspect your child has a vision problem, we suggest finding a doctor
that specializes in children and making an appointment for an optometric consultation.
Click here to
find a doctor in your area.