Approximately 80% of school learning is visual. Vision issues can affect a child’s development and educational performance. Poor visual skills can cause a child not to reach their maximum potential.
Studies suggest that one in five preschool children has vision problems. The issues go beyond the inability to see the classroom board.
Around 25% of children require corrective lenses by the time they start school. A big part of a child's development occurs in the first six years. In this critical period, the child is most susceptible to vision changes. Undetected or untreated vision problems can affect a child's academic achievement.
Children face new demands on their vision at each level of academic attainment. From classroom boards to computers, there is an increasing dependence on reading skills. When poor vision affects learning, school can be a frustrating and difficult place.
Visual acuity is an essential skill for learning and academic success. It involves visual sharpness or clarity represented by fractions; 20/20 is perfect vision. It is necessary to note that how well a child sees at a distance does not equal how their vision functions when reading. The learning or reading distance is several inches from the face.
Passing a vision test does not mean the child has developed visual skills. A visual acuity test can do more harm than good without a follow-up eye exam. A comprehensive eye exam helps evaluate visual acuity.
The ability of both eyes to work well together is one of the vital visual skills for academic success. Children must learn to use both eyes as a team. While some do this well, others find it more difficult.
Some children develop exophoria, a condition where the eyes move outward. It can make reading and learning difficult. Vision therapy can help improve the child's eye teaming and tracking skills.
Convergence is when both eyes turn inward toward a reading task. When the eyes deviate outward, the child requires excess energy and effort to fixate on the reading task. It is known as convergence insufficiency, and it can hurt school performance. The inability of the eyes to move smoothly through sentences causes the child to lose their place when reading. Fixating on specific words can lead to omitting other words, causing confusion.
Various eye coordination issues make it difficult for children to read and learn. Esophoria occurs when the eyes turn inward. It causes the eyes to see things as smaller than they are. For the child to see the object clearly, they must bring it closer. They tend to bend their heads toward the book when reading. Directionality is another visual skill that is vital for learning. Vision therapy can help a child who finds it hard to read from left to right.
Poor visual skills can affect a child's attention and academic performance. Vision therapy can help improve a child's ability to read and understand. It can improve the child's span of perception or reading speed. Children can get training on how to visualize to improve their learning. Vision therapy is a customized learning process for each child.
For more on the link between vision and learning and how visual skills impact academic success, visit VEO Vision Therapy. Our office is in Wichita, Kansas. Call (316) 999-4100 to schedule an appointment today.