Does My Child Have
A Vision Problem?

Sometimes parents may rely on the
results of a school vision screening,
or the fact that their child doesn't
report any symptoms, as an
indication he or she doesn't have a
vision problem. But these aren't
reliable ways of determining if a
vision problem exists.
In a comprehensive vision examination for learning-related vision
problems, two categories of visual abilities need to be assessed:
Studies show that as many
as 17-25% of school-age
children may have a vision
problem that is interfering
with their ability to read
and learn.
Most children won't tell you when they have a vision problem. Children
often will not be aware they aren't seeing well. They think the way they see things
is the same way everyone else does. They have nothing else to compare it to but
their own experiences.

If a child is not performing up to his or her potential in school, it may be due to a
vision problem. One of the first steps a parent can take is to arrange a vision
examination for your child.
The first evaluates a child's ability to see clearly and comfortably. This
testing assesses the
visual information gathering process that takes place through
the eyes. It looks at:

l How clearly the child can see, and

l How efficiently he or she can aim, focus, move and use his or her eyes together.

The second area that needs to be evaluated is
the ability of the brain to use
and respond to visual information.
This involves visual perception and visual
information processing skills. These skills allow the child to:

l Recognize similarities and differences in letters, words and numbers.

l Remember what is read or seen

l Coordinate eyes and hands together, and

l Match sounds and visual symbols.

When seeking professional care, it is important to realize that not all children's eye
examinations are the same. To find out what a comprehensive vision examination
for school-aged children should include, click on "When is a Vision Exam Needed?".
Vision Problems Can Be Learning Problems
If a vision problem is diagnosed, your doctor can
recommend appropriate treatment. For some
children with learning-related vision problems,
eyeglasses may only be part of the solution, or no
solution at all. Problems with eye focusing and
eye coordination, as well as any eye movement,
eye-hand coordination or visual processing
problems may require a program of vision
therapy
to be successfully treated.

Vision therapy doesen't directly treat reading
or learning problems.
Vision Therapy treats
vision problems that are interfering with
a child's ability to read and learn
. Once the
underlying vision problem is treated, the child
can be a more effective learner.
TM
Vision Topics
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