It is that time of the year again – Back To School!! Did you know that August is internationally-recognized as Children’s Vision and Learning Month? Our office goal is to bring awareness to parents and educators about the critical link between vision and learning. The visual system is responsible for almost 90% of all learning in the classroom! Reading, spelling, chalkboard work, writing and using a computer are just some of the visual tasks children perform all day in school. Therefore, a significant portion of the learning process is dependent upon their visual system. However, “1 in 4 children in grades K-6 have visual problems serious enough to impede learning,” according to the American Public Health Association. Consequently, many students’ visual abilities are not at the level needed to adequately complete and understand school work.
Clear eyesight is only one of the visual skills needed for reading and other school activities. As a matter of fact, most children with learning-related visual problems have 20/20 eyesight! Other skills that are important include efficient focusing, the ability to shift focus from the chalkboard to the desk and back, proper eye alignment, accurate eye movement skills, and the ability to interpret all the information that enters through our eyes (visual information processing)
There are 17 visual skills needed for the near (reading) vision that is imperative for learning. These include focusing, eye tracking, eye coordination and visual perception. To properly assess all of these skills, your child needs a developmental vision evaluation by a professional such as a developmental optometrist.
Whether or not your child has voiced any symptoms, it is best to have him or her evaluated comprehensively for the upcoming school year. Children frequently do not realize there is anything wrong with their vision if they have become accustomed to it. The outdated vision screenings are inadequate now, as optometric and medical research is continuing to prove the connection between vision problems and academic performance.
Before another school year starts, give us a call to schedule a developmental vision evaluation for your child.
Together, let’s make this school year a success!