Vision and Learning
It is a fact that 80-90% of all information that we deal with enters through our eyes. Thus, Vision is the dominant sense in learning. Reading, spelling, chalkboard work, writing and performing mathematical computations are among the various visual tasks children perform all day long in school, five days a week. Most children have no idea how they are supposed to see. Therefore, it is important that you know signs of vision problems that can interfere with the learning process and can affect academic performance and even their confidence.
20/20 is Not Enough
There are 17 visual skills required for reading and learning. Seeing 20/20 in only one of those skills. Vision screenings in school and at the pediatrician’s office usually only test distance vision. This test takes only seconds to perform and is not sufficient to measure how well you can see for a long period of time! Seeing 20/20 does not allow us to know if the eyes have:
- Proper focusing
- Ability to shift focus from one point to another
- Proper eye alignment
- Proper eye movement
- Ability to interpret all the information that enters through the eyes (visual perception)
Routine eye exam’s at doctor’s office is designed to test how healthy your eyes are and to see if you need glasses or contact lenses. The routine eye exam is not designed to test ALL of the 17 visual skills required for academic success. Even when glasses are prescribed, vision problems involving eye movement, eye focusing, and eye coordination could present an obstacle to the learning process. A Visual Efficiency Exam will test for all these skills.
If any of these visual skills have not developed properly or are not fully developed, it could present an obstacle to the learning process. Children whose visual skills are deficient, find learning difficult and stressful and quite often avoid reading and performing near-point activities. Some children perform the work but often experience fatigue and discomfort and thus have short attention spans. Others will complete the work but will not fully comprehend or understand the material. Often the child is labeled hyperactive, not trying hard enough, lazy, or slow.
Once a visually-related disability is identified, treatment may include a combination of properly prescribed distance and reading glasses, and/ or Optometric Vision Therapy.
Do you know your vision facts?
80% of learning in the classroom is visual.
Seeing “20/20” is one of 17 visual skills important to academic success.
1 out of 4 children struggles with reading and learning because of undiagnosed vision problems.
The majority of the vision problems that interfere with reading and learning are very treatable.