You could be forgiven for thinking that clear vision is the most important thing that your child needs to access their learning. However, there are actually a variety of different visual skills that your little one needs to develop as they grow if they are to unlock their academic potential. Your pediatric eye doctor will be able to check on these skills and determine if your child is having issues with any of them that could impact their school life and learning. Soe of the core visual skills your child needs for learning includes:
Eye teaming skills: Also known as binocular vision, eye teaming is an important visual efficiency skill that enables both eyes to work together in a coordinated fashion. Not only does good eye teaming allow your child to maintain a single and comfortable vision for a sustained period of time, but also facilitates depth perception. If your child has a poor eye teaming skills, they may see overlapping images that may cause problems with reading and other visual activities. Estimates suggest around 10% of school-aged children may have issues with the way that their eyes work together.
Accurate eye movement skills: Eye movement skills are vital in the classroom environment, as well as in everyday life. In fact, many children who are misdiagnosed with learning difficulties are actually struggling with basic eye skills including accurate movement. Visual tracking skills begin at birth and continue to develop right through childhood. There are two different types – maintaining focus on a moving object and switching your focus between two objects. Without this skill, a child may skip lines when reading, may struggle to transfer between the board and desk-based tasks, and even be unable to kick, throw, or catch a ball.
Visual perception: This refers to the brain’s ability to make sense of what the eyes can see, and shouldn’t be confused with visual acuity, which refers to the clarity of vision. A child can have perfect visual acuity but can still have problems with processing what their eyes can see. For example, they may have problems copying writing in front of them, differentiating between colors, shapes, and sizes and even find it difficult to read.
Your child may have issues with one or more of the visual skills listed above if they:
Regularly lose their place when reading
Read slowly or actively avoid reading where possible
Get headaches when they try and do their homework
May feel sick when they have to pay prolonged attention to schoolwork or reading
Have poor reading comprehension
Struggle to maintain their concentration and focus
May close or cover one eye when concentrating on visual tasks
Many children every year are misdiagnosed with learning difficulties, when in fact, it is their inability to see clearly that is preventing them from fulfilling their potential at school. Pediatric eye exams give your pediatric eye doctor the opportunity to thoroughly and comprehensively assess the health and condition of your child’s eyes, check whether they would benefit from wearing prescription lenses, and ensure that they have the visual skills needed to access and benefit from their learning. Don’t let your child go back to school without a pediatric eye exam. Schedule yours today by calling our team.