Children with learning related vision problems rarely report symptoms.  They think everyone sees the same as they do.  Vision is more than 20/20 eyesight.  It is a complex process involving over 20 visual abilities and 2/3 of all the pathways to the brain.  Nearly 80% of what a child perceives, comprehends, and remembers depends on the efficiency of the visual system.

A child can’t learn to read when the words get jumbled up on the page and he/she can’t remember or make sense of what was just read.  Current research indicates that approximately 1 out of 4 children have vision problems which interfere with their ability to achieve.

Why are learning related vision problems so epidemic?  Vision is a learned skill, just like learning to walk or to talk. In the past 30 years, games that encourage the development of a good vision skills have been replaced by passive visual activities such as watching television, video, and computer screens.

The average child watches 6,240 hours of television before entering first grade.  Many children are programmed for academic failure simply because their visual systems are not sufficiently developed to cope with the demand of reading and writing tasks at the kindergarten and first grade levels.

The Checklist   Three areas of concern in detecting symptoms of learning-related vision problems are highlighted in this checklist.

Appearance of the Eyes
Eyes crossed or turning in, out, or moving independently of each other.
Reddened, watering eyes, encrusted eyelids, frequent styes.

Behavioral Indications of Possible Vision Difficulty
Dislike or avoidance of close work.
Short attention span for the child’s age or frequent daydreaming.
Turning or tilting head to use one eye only or closing or covering one eye.
Placing head close to book or desk when reading or writing.
Excessive blinking or rubbing or eyes.
Losing place while reading or using finger or marker to guide eyes.
Trouble finishing written timed assignments.
Difficulty remembering what is read.
Omitting, repeating, and miscalling words or confusing similar words.
Persistent reversals after second grade.
Difficulty with sequential concepts.
Poor eye-hand coordination when copying from chalkboard, throwing or catching a ball, buttoning or unbuttoning clothing or tying shoes.
Displaying evidence of developmental immaturity.

Complaints Associated With Using the Eyes
Headaches, nausea, and dizziness.
Burning or itching eyes.
Blurring of vision at any time.
Double vision.

Fishbaugh Family Eyecare

“When you’re in a conference with your child’s teacher, the last thing you expect to hear is that your child is reading at a grade and a half level lower that she should be.  Knowing that reading is a fundamental foundation for learning, you’re mind is searching for some “quick fix.”  As a parent, nothing feels worse than thinking you’ve dropped the ball somehow.  Mentioning the struggles to Dr. Fishbaugh, we were advised to consider vision therapy.  Yes, there are weekly visits.  Yes, there are home study exercising for weeks and months and yes, insurance doesn’t like to consider it a medical condition. Bearing all that in mind, until you get that phone call that says, “Hey what are you doing differently at home, she’s really improving.”  Now you start to realize things are happening as you see the confidence blooming in your child when they read fluently to you.  Then finally, the test scores come home and it all comes together….Vision Therapy did this for us…In our minds, it was worth everything we put into it.”