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:

How clearly a child sees and

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:

Recognize similarities and differences in letters, words and numbers

Remember what is read or seen

Coordinate eyes and hands together, and

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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