Did you know that up to 80% of the information in the classroom is obtained through the visual system?
Behavioural Optometry Menu
Learning is a result of complex and inter-related processes. Your eyes and the visual system grow and develop from the brain, making vision a fundamental factor in learning. Vision’s role is to gather information, sort, analyse, store, match, recall and direct action.
Vision is a key sense in the classroom and plays a major role in reading, spelling, writing, board work and computer and electronic device use. Students tackle these tasks all day long, day after day.
Clear eyesight is not all that is required in the classroom. Most learning these days is done up close at a reading distance requiring the visual skills of seeing quickly and understanding visual information usually at less than arm’s length from the eyes.
Many students have not developed visual skills that are up to the demands of the types of classroom learning situations that are expected of them. Students must have a variety of scanning, focusing and visual co-ordination skills for learning and for getting meaning from reading.
If these visual skills have not been or are poorly developed, learning may become more difficult and stressful and students typically may react in one of a variety of ways:
- Avoidance of near visual work
- Perseverance but with reduced understanding
- Discomfort , fatigue and a short attention span
- Adaptations such as the development of myopia (shortsightedness) or suppression of the vision in one eye.
Below are listed some of the signs that MAY indicate that visual problems MIGHT be affecting your child’s learning or school performance:
- Holding a book (or device) very close (only 15-20 cms away)
- Child holds head at an extreme angle to the book or device when reading
- Child covers one eye while reading
- Child squints when doing near work
- Constant poor posture when working close
- Child moves head back and forth while reading instead of moving only the eyes
- Poor attention span, drowsiness after prolonged work less than arm’s length away
- Homework requiring reading takes longer than it should
- Child occasionally or persistently reports seeing blurring or double while reading or writing
- Child reports blurring or doubling only when work is hard
- Loses place when moving gaze from desk work to white board, or when copying from text to notebook
- Child must use a marker/ruler/finger to keep their place when reading
- Writing up or down hill, irregular letter or word spacing
- Child reverses letters (b for d) or words (saw for was)
- Repeatedly omits “small” words
- Re-reads or skips words or lines unknowingly
- Fails to recognize the same word in the next sentence
- Misaligns digits in columns of numbers
- Headaches after reading or near work
- Burning or itching eyes after doing near vision work
- Child blinks excessively when doing near work, but not otherwise
- Rubs eyes during or after short periods of reading
- Comprehension declines as reading continues
- Child fails to visualize (can’t describe what they have been reading about)If your child routinely exhibits any of these signs then it’s time to consider organising a behavioural vision assessment.
WE BELIEVE VISION PROBLEMS DO NOT “CAUSE” LEARNING DISABILITIES.
However, poor visual skills can interfere with the process and impede remedial efforts.
Vision is a foundation skill. Without a sound base, learning is like trying to build a house on sand.
GOOD VISION SKILLS ARE ESSENTIAL TO SUPPORT LEARNING.