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|Childhood Vision Screening by Raymi90(m): 4:55am On Jan 14|
Why children need regular vision screenings and eye exams
As a parent, seeing your children excel in school is ecstatic. All parents do everything possible to provide their kids with the best education opportunities.
A child requires various abilities to thrive in school, and good vision is paramount. Students engage in many visual learning activities such as reading, writing, using computers, chalkboard work and sports. Eyes are constantly utilized in classroom and in outdoor activities. As such, poor vision adversely affects a child’s education and sports participation.
Demand for visual abilities increase as children progress in school. School years are important pillars in every child’s life. Parents strive to provide the best environment and resources for their kids to learn. Unfortunately, vision is often overlooked.
Understanding visual skills needed by your child to succeed in school is key.
Vision skills necessary to succeed in school
Although there are numerous vision skills beyond seeing that come together to realize academic success, eyes play a vital role. Every child requires the following vision skills to effectively read and learn:
Visual acuity: describes the ability of a child to see clearly when reading a book up close, viewing chalkboard at a distance and viewing a computer at an intermediate distance.
Eye focusing: refers to the ability to accurately and quickly keep clear vision as object distances change. For instance, when looking at the chalkboard and changing to a paper on the desk quickly back and forth.
Eye tracking: describes the ability to maintain eyes on target when looking from one object to another. For example, when moving eyes while reading a printed page or keeping an eye at a moving object like a ball.
Eye teaming: ability to use both eyes and coordinate when moving them along a page, and judging distances in sports or seeing classwork depth.
Eye hand coordination: ability to visually monitor and direct hands when hitting a ball or drawing pictures.
Visual perception: ability to organize images on a page into words, letters and ideas, understand and remember.
As kids progress in school, demand on their visual capabilities rises. Books become small and the duration spent studying and reading increases exponentially. Additional homework and classwork increases the need for a child’s vision. Sadly, some children have visual challenges.
Signs of learning related visual challenges
When some visual skills are undeveloped or underdeveloped, learning becomes difficult and stressful. Such children will typically show the following signs:
Avoid visual work like reading as much as possible
Struggle doing visual assignments with lowered efficiency or comprehension
Experience fatigue, short attention and discomfort
Slow reading and poor reading comprehension
Confusing similar words
Persistent word reversal
Difficulty identifying and reproducing shapes
Excessive eye rubbing or blinking
Crossed eyes or eyes moving independently
Double or blurred vision
Eye strain or headaches
Tilting head to use one eye, closing or covering one
Placing head very close to a book when reading
Behavioral signs such as inattentiveness and acting out
Since vision may change often during school years, frequent eye and vision care is vital. Although myopia is the most common vision challenge, some children exhibit other forms of refractive error such as astigmatism and farsightedness.
Eyeglasses and contact lenses may correct most visual issues. However, vision therapy programs can also help in enhancing vision skills.
Identifying causes of learning challenges related to vision can increase the chances of addressing them successfully.
Learning challenges related to vision
Vision is a multifaceted process that involves both the brain and the eyes. Learning challenges related to vision can affect visual input, processing and integration. They include;
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