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60% of children with learning difficulties have an undetected vision problem and one in four children experience vision problems that are often misdiagnosed as other common learning disabilities. These are astonishing statistics, and we created our “Mission Vision for our Children” program in an effort to provide underprivileged children with the eye care & eyewear they need to succeed in life. This September children up to 18 years old receive FREE Standard Reflection Free Lenses* with the purchase of any Frame!
Vision and learning are intimately related. In fact, roughly 80% of what a child learns in school is presented visually so good vision is essential for students of all ages to reach their full academic potential. Ruling out simple refractive errors is the first step in making sure your child is visually ready for school as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism are not the only visual disorders that can make learning more difficult. Less obvious vision problems related to the way the eyes function and how the brain processes visual information also can limit your child’s ability to learn. Any vision problems that have the potential to affect academic and reading performance are considered learning-related vision problems.
We recommend a complete comprehensive examination by a fully licensed and registered eye care practitioner at around age 5 years old. This is crucial to ensure the normal development of the visual system even if they’re not experiencing any noticeable symptoms. Some common issues if not detected before age 8 years cannot be rectified later and the earlier they are identified the better. Learning-related vision problems are not learning disabilities, and they can be fixed. If you are concerned about your child’s performance in school, it’s best to find out the underlying cause (or causes) of the problem. The best way to do this is through a team approach that may include the child’s teachers and an eye doctor who specializes in children’s vision and learning-related vision problems, such as Eye Q Optical. Identifying all contributing causes of the learning problem increases the chances that the problem can be successfully treated.
Vision screenings in school systems often do not evaluate the functional use of eyes for reading and writing activities.
Most vision screenings in schools test the child’s visual acuity at 20 feet. Children may have 20/20 acuity at distance but may have difficulty maintaining their focus and alignment and thus may have blurred vision when looking at close printed or written material. Some children will even have double vision at close viewing distances but will be able to pass the vision screening for distance vision. Furthermore, doctors performing only standard eye examinations will frequently miss the functional vision problems affecting near vision. If only a standard eye examination is performed the doctor will often not test for convergence or focusing abilities and may report that the child has healthy eyes and that the distance acuity is normal or 20/20. However, these are the visual skills that when not functioning properly relate to the symptoms of eye strain, headaches, and may result in learning difficulties.
At Eye Q Optical we consider these imperative. As such our Eye Examinations for children include a careful functional analysis of near vision skills including the ability to develop pursuit tracking, saccades (quick eye movements), and sustained focusing ability.
Vision is a complex process that involves not only the eyes but the brain as well. Specific learning-related vision problems can be classified as one of three types. The first two types primarily affect visual input. The third primarily affects visual processing and integration.
Most routine eye exams evaluate only the first of these categories of vision problems — those related to eye health and refractive errors. However, many optometrists who specialize in children’s vision problems and vision therapy, such as Eye Q Optical, offer exams to evaluate functional vision problems and perceptual vision problems that may affect learning. Color blindness, though typically not considered a learning-related vision problem, may cause problems in school for young children, for this reason, all children should have an eye exam that includes a color blind test prior to starting school.
If your child shows one or more of these symptoms and is experiencing learning problems come see us as soon as possible. We specialize in children’s vision and learning-related vision problems and provide the comprehensive evaluations needed. After a careful fully comprehensive vision examination, treatment options may include glasses that relax the visual process enabling improved focusing ability and eye teaming or integration. Glasses may be recommended to be worn in school and for all reading and homework. Frequently parents and teachers, as well as children, will notice that reading and writing skills may improve from simply using these specially designed developmental lenses.