Vision is More Than Just 20/20
According to the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD):
Academic success requires 17 different visual skills and seeing 20/20 is just one of them. Vision Screenings are not designed to test ALL of these visual skills.
Most of our area schools have been in session for a couple of weeks, and all that comes with a new school year is in place: new books, busy schedules, and the usual menu of school screenings, including the standard hearing and vision screenings.
Your child seems to be adjusting to the new year well, and has passed all the preliminary vision screenings and is settling into what looks like a great school year.
And then, a few weeks in to the semester, you notice them struggling with homework, getting frustrated with reading assignments, losing focus, and falling behind. Your child, who started the year so enthusiastically, is losing confidence and is feeling discouraged. So are you!
Several questions go through your mind:
- Does my child have ADD/ADHD?
- Does my child have a Learning Disability?
- Is this grade/ subject/ teacher too difficult for them?
- Am I not doing enough to help them?
A great place to start
Talk to your child’s teachers, and ask them for some observations about your child’s learning. Make note of these, and make some observations of your own. It would be a good idea to schedule a comprehensive eye exam for your child with an Optometrist who specializes in Vision Therapy, and come prepared with these observations. Some things to look for are:
- Able to read for only a short time
- Poor reading comprehension
- Moves head excessively when reading
- Frequently loses place, skips lines when reading
- Uses finger to keep place
- Mistakes words with similar beginnings
- Difficulty recognizing letters, words, or simple shapes and forms
- Can’t distinguish the main idea from insignificant details
- Trouble learning basic math concepts of size, magnitude, and position
- Trouble learning right and left
- Reverses letters and words
- Trouble writing and remembering letters and numbers
Take these observations with you to your child’s Optometrist, and ask them to assess your child’s visual abilities. Many vision problems are treatable with corrective lenses and /or Vision Therapy, a new and exciting area that has proven results for children and adults alike. These problems are often overlooked or misdiagnosed. Be sure to look at the whole picture of your child’s overall health and well being, and consider a comprehensive eye exam early in the school year.