Visual Skills and Learning
A number of visual skills are necessary for children to be effective learners.
It is not enough for children to have 20/20 eyesight and healthy eyes to be efficient learners and readers. A child with 20/20 eyesight will be able to see small print on the chalk board or smart board in school, but other eye-brain skills are necessary to allow children to see comfortably and effortlessly at close distances. Studies have shown that children spend up to 70% of their school day focused on their desk or copying from board to paper. Eye teaming (binocular vision) and focusing skills allow children to maintain single, clear, comfortable vision throughout reading, writing, and copying tasks. Tracking skills allow children to move their eyes smoothly during reading and writing. Visual processing and visual motor skills are crucial for handwriting, math, early reading skills, and organizing written work.
A position paper from the American Academy of Optometry discusses how children with poor visual skills struggle with visual attention and consistency in classroom performance. Download the Report: Optometric Care of the Struggling Student
Children with learning related vision problems have difficulty sustaining their attention during deskwork, tests and homework because of the effort involved in making their eyes work. They take frequent breaks and can behave as if they have ADHD. They generally don’t like to read and homework can be very frustrating as their eyes are already tired from their day of school.
A position paper for parents and educators from the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) discusses the latest research and the impact of eye teaming and focusing problems on learning and classroom behavior. Timely identification and treatment of these problems can remove a potential obstacle that can prevent a child from performing at his or her full potential.
Download the Report:
Optometric Care of the Struggling Student