The American Optometric Association recommend eye examinations at 6 months old, 3 years old, then every year in school.
Dr. Joanna Carter of InSight Vision Therapy in Medford says 20/20 vision is only one of the 17 visual skills needed for efficient learning.
Most of the vision occurs in the brain, and children with difficulties might be deficient in some visual skills.
There are many potential symptoms of vision-related learning problems, depending on the area of challenge in eye-brain processing. These symptoms include:
- Holds things very close
- Complains of blurred vision
- Poor reading comprehension
- Says eyes are tired
- Able to read for only a short time
- Has headaches when reading
- Moves head excessively when reading
- Frequently loses place when reading
- Uses finger to keep place
- Short attention span
- Can’t distinguish the main idea from insignificant details
- Mistakes words with similar beginnings
- Trouble visualizing what is read
- Poor speller
- Trouble with mathematical concepts
- Poor recall of visually-presented material
- Sloppy handwriting and drawing
- Can't stay on lines
- Poor copying skills
- Can respond orally but not in writing
- Trouble learning right and left
- Reverses letters and words
- Trouble writing and remembering letters and numbers
- Trouble learning basic math concepts of size, magnitude and position
- Difficulty recognizing letters, words or simple shapes and forms
A basic eye examination checks the clarity of vision, the health of the eyes and whether glasses are needed to see more clearly.
A comprehensive vision-and-learning examination looks at the patient’s visual function, beyond a glasses prescription and eye health evaluation. In addition, it checks the near-far focusing ability, eye tracking ability, binocular vision (the ability to use both eyes together), depth perception and more.
A Visual Information Processing evaluation checks the patient’s behind-the-scenes eye-brain processing abilities, including left-right awareness, proper orientation of letters, visual memory, ability to find hidden pictures, the ability to visualize, eye-hand coordination and more.
This will give a full picture of the patient’s ability to use their eyes, brain and body together.