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1 in 5 children in the classroom have a vision problem that affects reading!

The key to understanding the relationship between vision and learning is realizing that vision is so much more than just being able to see 20/20 and the letters on the eye chart. The visual skills necessary for learning go far beyond the ability to see clearly. Most vision screenings either at school or in the doctors office check for visual acuity alone, but do not screen for functional visual skills including tracking, focusing, eye teaming, convergence, or visual perceptual skills.       

Experts estimate that over 80% of what a child learns in school is acquired via the visual processing of information.

Learning related vision problems are those where a visual condition impacts someone’s ability to read efficiently and therefore perform at their optimal potential in the classroom, workplace, and in life. Reading is a complex process that involves an intimate connection between eye teaming, eye tracking, and eye focusing, among others visual systems. Reading requires accurately using all of language, decoding, phonetic and visual skills to successfully recognize words and find meaning in written text. Many people are labeled as “learning disabled” and actually have correctable vision problems involving underdeveloped visual skills, eye muscle coordination, or a disconnect between what their eyes see and what registers in their brain.

Vision is very often overlooked as one of the roadblocks a someone may be encountering, especially after a head injury.

The American Optometric Association recommends that, by first grade, all children should have had at least three vision wellness checkups: one at 6 months, one at 3 years, and again before beginning school to ensure that their visual skills and abilities are developing at the appropriate rate. A thorough vision evaluation rules out any possible vision problems that may be part of the reason for a child’s inappropriate behavior or performance in school.  After a suspected head injury eyesight and eye health should be thoroughly evaluated. But even more importantly after a suspected head injury, so too should the functional visual skills and visual processing of information be formally assessed.