Amanda R. Zeller Manley, OD, FCOVD
Vision and Learning
Updated: Oct 12, 2020
C.O.V.D. presents August is Vision & Learning Month
Each year, the College of Optometrists in Vision Development promotes August as Vision and Learning Month. What’s this all about?
With school starting soon, it’s an excellent time for an eye exam. After all, up to 80% of learning comes through the visual system. The problem parents and their kids run into is that many kids have “20/20” visual acuity (meaning they can read the smallest letters on the eye chart) yet still have vision problems that can get in the way at school.
What type of eye doctor evaluates the 17 visual skills necessary for school success? A Developmental Optometrist specializes in testing and treating all of the visual skills necessary in the classroom. Seeing clearly and having healthy eyes (which is tested by your primary care optometrist or ophthalmologist) are important, but just a starting point.
Classroom tasks and required visual skills downloadable chart
Eye teaming problems can cause a person to skip words or lines when reading, or miss small details such as word endings, math signs, etc.
Trouble aligning the two eyes when looking at close objects can result in tired eyes, falling asleep reading, reduced reading comprehension, headaches, or just slow reading.
The two eyes not teaming well can make depth perception difficult, which can show up as trouble catching or hitting a ball. Poor depth perception can also make driving difficult (moms and dads!), especially making that tricky left turn across traffic lanes.
Kids with eye coordination problems can often look like they have ADHD– there’s a big overlap in symptoms. If your eyes hurt when you try to read or do written work, it’s common to be looking out the window instead!
Kids with visual processing (visual perception, visual motor integration) difficulties might struggle with reading comprehension; understanding graphs and charts; understanding math concepts– both arithmetic and geometry; or following instructions.
See a longer list of vision symptoms that can interfere with school.
Fortunately, nearly all of the visual skills necessary for learning can be developed and improved. Learn more about improvements kids have made here and here.
There’s still time– schedule your child’s back-to-school eye exam today!
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