A Child’s Success in the Classroom is highly correlated to Visual performance
There is a significant difference between sight, vision and vision perception. Sight is the ability to see. Vision is the ability to fixate, fuse and focus on what we see. Vision perception is the ability to interpret what we see. Sight or refractive system issues can be corrected by wearing spectacles and or contact lenses to see better at a distance or near. Problems include squinting to see, avoidance of near activities i.e. reading, closes or covers an eye, and complains of discomfort or eyestrain.
Vision issues include eye movement skills i.e. the skill of speed and control of vision, inspection and scanning. Problems include losing ones place while reading, omitting words, and needing to use a finger to guide reading.
Eye teaming skills i.e. the skill of using both eyes together. Problems include seeing double, omitting words, posture changes, covering one eye to “see” better.
Eye hand coordination i.e. the skill of integrating the eyes and hands as paired learning tools. Problems include poor handwriting, confusing left and right, and poor coordination exhibited in play or sports.
Visual perception: a number of skills are involved here i.e visual memory, form perception, spatial perception; i.e the skill that the things we see be interpreted by the brain to learn. Problems include confusing likeness and differences, reversing letters or numbers, or inability to visualize what is real.
In total, all these areas of vision can affect a child’s performance to learn and excel in the classroom setting and only an optometrist can evaluate and test all these areas.
Lastly, parents should be aware that school eye screenings are only that, a screening, i.e. the screening will not cover many of the problems listed above. Visual analysis and eye health evaluations are recommended YEARLY since the growth of the child and visual demands increase yearly in school.
Author: Dr. Thomas Lesjak
Lifetime Vision Source
10521 South Parker Road, Parker CO