5 Important questions for parents of school-age children
- Does your child dislike reading?
- Does your child have frustration with homework assignments?
- Does your child have frequent letter reversals, b’s, and d’s, p’s, and q’s?
- Does your child have trouble with attention and concentration?
- Does your child have poor handwriting?
If the answer is “yes” to any of these than an important step is to schedule your child a comprehensive eye and vision evaluation, including testing of eye coordination and visual processing.
Why? Even if your child has normal eyesight (visual acuity), with or without corrective lenses, they can still have a vision problem that affects school performance.
How? They may have delays in eye coordination and/or visual processing development. What is a delay in the visual development of eye coordination or visual processing? We have two eyes, and they must work together as a coordinated team, move accurately from spot to spot, and focus with accuracy and strength. The ability to make sense of visual-spatial differences (such as a “b” from “d” or “p” from “q”) and visually remember what you see are examples of visual processing. These visual skills are developed after we’re born, and for many children, due to a hereditary predisposition, this developmental process can be delayed causing a visual deficit.
In 2018, a study by prominent researchers from Boston’s Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical found deficits in the visual function of eye coordination involving eye teaming, eye tracking, and eye focusing abilities of those children with developmental reading problems versus normal readers. 1
What can be done when there are delays in proper eye coordination or visual processing development? There is an effective treatment. When provided to the patient directly in-office by an experienced developmental optometrist and vision therapist, developmental vision therapy can often make a dramatic difference in a child’s reading and learning performance.
So, whenever a child struggles in school, reading and learning, has an IEP, or has ADHD behaviors, a comprehensive eye and vision evaluation with the necessary assessment of eye coordination and visual processing is an important step. No child should struggle in school due to undetected developmental vision problems.
Dan L. Fortenbacher, O.D., FCOVD
Wow Vision Therapy
1.Frequency of Visual Deficits in Children With Developmental Dyslexia, JAMA Ophthalmol. 2018;136(10):1089-1095
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