School is in session! Many families have made their stop at the store to search of school supplies, but do you know the one “supply” that your child may be missing? An efficient visual system!
85% of everything learned in the classroom comes through visual pathways!
If we rely on the school eye screening or even a doctor’s wellness visit to catch vision issues we may be missing an important evaluation. These very basic exams often consist of nothing more than reading an eye chart with one eye covered, at a distance of 20 feet. This measurement only gives insight into one small part of the visual system. It doesn’t give information about how the eyes are working together such as how they move across the lines of a paragraph. Limited exam also misses how hard the eyes might be working at closer distances such as when reading, doing desk work or computer work. Since much of learning is done 20 inches from our eyes it’s important to make sure that all the visual pieces are in place.
There are many visual skills that your child will need for reading, writing and learning. Good eye teaming, the ability to smoothly track the eyes across the printed page, and the ability to change focus quickly name just a few. Once visual information is received by the brain, it then has to be quickly interpreted and remembered.
Deficits in the ability to team, track and focus can result in symptoms such as:
- Difficulty reading – skipping words or lines, substituting words
- Low reading comprehension
- Poorly spaced or messy handwriting
- Poor concentration and attention
- Letter and number reversals
More severe symptoms may include:
- Double vision
- Anxiety or angry outbursts or feelings of low self-esteem
Without the basic visual tools, a student may struggle academically. Homework is often a battle leaving both child and parents exhausted. Please discuss any classroom issues with your eye doctor.