Good Vision is Fundamental to Reading...
and Reading is Fundamental to Learning
Is Your Child's Vision Developing Normally?
As adults, we often take reading for granted. For most of us,
learning to read wasn't a problem. But for some children,
learning to read can be an ongoing struggle. The presence of
a vision problem that makes it hard to focus, move the eyes
easily across a page of print, or use the two eyes together as
a team can interfere with reading and learning.
Reading involves a complex process that begins when our eyes focus on the
words on a page and move in a coordinated way along the lines of print. The
visual images our eyes record are sent separately from each eye to our
brain. The brain combines the two images into a single picture, converts the
letters and words into abstract representations of sounds and language, and
develops the information into meaningful ideas and concepts.

The process of reading includes:

1. Decoding
- recognizing letters and words and "sounding" them out.

2. Comprehension - gaining understanding of what is being read.

3. Retention - being able to remember what is read.

Sometimes children can "see" the words in a book, but they can't "see"
what they mean. They spend so much effort trying to make out or "decode"
the letters in the words they are reading that they have little mental energy
left to understand and remember the meaning of those words.

Vision Problems Cause Kids to Struggle

There are many factors that can affect a child's ability to learn to read or to
read effectively. Not all reading problems are due to vision problems.
Difficulties with hearing and language skills also can be major contributing
factors. But it is important to remember that the entire reading process
starts with our eyes.

Although they can see words clearly, some children have an eye-brain
processing problem that causes them to struggle unnecessarily. Their
inability to effectively gather or process information through their eyes may
result in their being mislabeled as learning disabled or having Attention
Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Vision Problems Can Affect Behavior

A child with a vision problem may not voice any concerns. However, his or
her actions may be a strong indication of the presence of one.

A smart child who struggles and isn't performing up to his or her potential
may have a learning-related vision problem; as can the child who gives up
easily or becomes stressed after reading or doing homework for a short
time. These may be signs of a vision problem that needs attention.

Hidden vision problems affect how well a child learns and understands.
They can cause difficulties with reading comprehension, math aptitude,
problem solving and reasoning.

If your child is experiencing any reading problems in school, make an
appointment with your eye doctor for a comprehensive vision examination.
TM
Set the Stage for
Reading Readiness
When you read to a young
child and encourage his or
her participation by listening
and responding to the story,
you help build needed
"reading readiness" skills.
Vision Topics
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