Is Your Child's Vision Developing Normally?
We See With Our Brain, Not Just Our Eyes
Early Experiences Affect
Brain Development
Within each brain area are millions of nerve cells that send messages
to each other across connections called synapses. This allows the
various areas of the brain to communicate with each other and work

For many areas of the brain, no new nerve cells are formed after
birth. However, most of the connections among the cells are made
during infancy and early childhood. Brain development consists of an
ongoing process of "wiring and rewiring" the connections. These
connections occur due to the early experiences and interactions a
child has with his or her environment and are critical in a child's

Different experiences can cause the brain and
vision skills to develop in different ways.

It is the "plasticity" of a child's brain and visual system that allows
them to develop and change in response to the demands made on
them. Normal sensory experiences, like what a child sees, hears, or
touches, reinforce the connections between brain cells. It is these
connections that serve as the brains' "circuitry" or "wiring".

Children need the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of
learning experiences. Children learn by doing and practicing new
skills through play.

Learning continues throughout life. However, "windows of
opportunity" exist when it's easier for the brain to absorb new
information. This seems to be especially true during the first three
years of life. Changes in the brain that happen during early childhood
serve as the foundation for a child's later development.

"Infants and children who are rarely
spoken to, who are exposed to few
toys, and who have little opportunity to
explore and experiment with their
environment may fail to develop the
neural connections and pathways that
facilitate later learning."
A baby's brain is a work in progress.
While a newborn's brain is ready to
learn, it needs early experiences to wire
the neural circuits that facilitate growth
and development.

The brain is made up of many areas that
perform specific functions, like the visual
cortex which identifies and responds to
what a child sees.
Source: Zero to Three, the
Ounce of Prevention Fund
Vision is an eye-brain process that allows us to get meaning
from what we see. This eye-brain connection is a vital link for
thinking and learning. What a child sees and understands, the
child can know. And "knowing" is just another word for
Although "seeing" happens in our eyes,
"vision" occurs in our brain.
Vision Topics