Visual Skills

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Observe your child as they read a book. Do you notice them struggling to stay focused on a page or keep their place? Do they find it hard to finish their schoolwork on time? Do they even dislike reading?

One of the reasons might be poor visual skills.

Our visual system includes not only our eyes but also our visual pathway and brain. This means even if your child has excellent eyesight and may pass the 20/20 chart test, they can still have poor visual skills for reading and learning.

As your child reads, their eyes move along the page. These movements include:

Good eye teaming gives your child depth perception and helps them with eye-hand coordination for gross and fine motor activities.

Good eye focusing allows the eye muscles to move the lens to focus on a near object and then relax to see clearer far away.

Good eye tracking lets your child read comfortably at a good pace without skipping words or lines.

Vision and learning are so intimately related. In fact, 80% of what your child learns at school is through vision. This means that any undiagnosed problems with visual skills may hinder your child’s ability to reach full academic potential.

Children often do not know they have a vision problem, so it’s important to know the warning signs that your child may have poor visual skills.

Signs and Symptoms Your Child May Have Poor Visual Skills Include...

  • Headaches or eye strain
  • Dislike or avoidance of reading and close work
  • Placing the head very close to the book or desk when reading or writing
  • Losing place while reading or using a finger as a guide
  • Difficulty remembering what was read
  • Persistent reversal of words or letters (after second grade)
  • Poor eye-hand coordination
  • Blurred vision or double vision
  • Short attention span during visual tasks
  • Excessive blinking or rubbing the eyes
  • Slow reading speed or poor reading comprehension
  • Omitting/repeating words or confusing similar words
  • Difficulty remembering, identifying or reproducing shapes

Why Should Parents Be Concerned?

Visual skills direct our actions such as reading and writing. When your child lacks the necessary visual skills or information processing, this may significantly compromise their ability to read and write effectively, which are fundamental for learning.

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Kids with moderate vision impairments tend to be unaware of the issue and may be less vocal about it. This may cause devastating effects on their development, academic performance, social interactions and health if not corrected immediately.

When visual information is perceived or processed incorrectly, it is very hard to integrate it with your child’s other senses. Their lack of visual processing affects learning in many areas and may even manifest itself as a behavior or attention issue.

Visual skills problems may cause issues such as double vision, frontal headaches, eyestrain and short attention span when reading. Such harrowing symptoms may cause your child to become frustrated and may discourage them from wanting to learn.

How Can We Help?

We Evaluate Where the Problem Lies

Our comprehensive eye test will help us rule out refractive errors like short-sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatism. We can then check if a functional vision problem is indeed affecting your child’s academic performance.

Tailored Treatment Plan

If our tests show that your child has a learning-related vision problem, we’ll tailor a treatment plan that may include special lenses and vision therapy exercises to help them use their visual system as efficiently as possible in an academic environment.

Fun and Interactive Exercises

We’ll make each consultation fun and interactive for your child! Our vision therapy exercises will have the educational qualities that ensure your child improves at their own pace and develop confidence as well as clarity with their future.

Referral to a Specialist

It is important to note that a child struggling at school may have a specific learning disability, a learning-related vision problem, or both. If our tests do show that there is a learning disability that’s not related to vision, we can refer you to the appropriate healthcare professional.

Is a visual skills problem hindering your child from achieving their best? Find out today with a comprehensive eye test.

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