When a child has visual information processing problems, research shows they will typically experience a host of learning-based performance difficulties including the following:
- Reading fluency, miscalling easy words, losing their place easily, re-reading, and relying on their finger or marker to keep their place
- Poor attention and concentration primarily for a reading task
- Trouble doing homework
- Sloppy and spatially disorganized handwriting
- Letter reversals persisting past age 7
What do you suppose happens when a child who suffers from a visual processing problem is expected to stay focussed on a digital screen for extended periods of time every day?
As discussed in our previous Wow Blog post, Excessive Digital Screen Time Causes Vision Problems in Children, anytime a child is in front of a digital screen for 5-8 hours a day, that can have a significant detrimental effect on their visual system. Now consider the child who already has a vision problem. Research shows that the incidence of vision processing and sensorimotor problems involving eye teaming, eye tracking, and eye focusing is significantly higher in those children who have reading and learning problems. Adding the visual stress associated with excessive digital screen time dramatically compounds these problems.
Therefore, when there is a concern with a child’s performance, it is very important to have your child tested with a Comprehensive Developmental Vision Evaluation, including an expanded battery of visual information processing and sensorimotor testing. From this, the doctor is able to determine if a child has problems with visual perception/processing and eye coordination, including eye teaming, eye tracking, and eye focusing.
If visual processing problems exist, vision therapy is an effective treatment that can significantly improve visual function, leading to better reading, attention, handwriting, and improved confidence. Significant improvements can be made in a relatively short period of time. In addition, with proper near-point lenses and visual-stress management techniques, the impact of excessive digital screen time can be minimized.
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