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 together.

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 development.

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
TM
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 intelligence.
Although "seeing" happens in our eyes,
"vision" occurs in our brain.
Vision Topics
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