Can you Improve your Child’s Academic Performance?

Dr. Russel Lazarus, March 11, 2021

Did you know that 80% of the information you learn comes through your vision?

If your child struggles to read or keep up with their classmates, they may have an undetected visual problem, which could be benefited with specific reading glasses or a customized program of vision therapy.

Teachers now recognize that reading fluency and comprehension are dependent on the strength of visual skills— especially focusing, binocular vision, convergence, saccades, and visual fixation.

A deficiency in any visual skills can result in reading difficulties, which can impact a child’s ability to learn.

If you think your child may have a learning difficulty, schedule an appointment with an eye doctor as soon as possible to see if vision therapy could benefit your child. 

The Find an Eye Doctor directory lists eye doctors near you that may provide vision therapy for children.

SEE RELATED: Vision Therapy for “Slow Learners”: Success Stories

Find an Eye Doctor for Children near you

Does my child have a vision problem?

Identifying a vision problem in children can be difficult because they may lack the verbal skills to describe what they are experiencing or not realize that they have a vision problem.

Common signs that may indicate a vision problem include:

  • Behavioral problems
  • Covering one eye
  • Excessive fidgeting
  • Frequent blinking
  • Limited attention span
  • Reading avoidance
  • Reading below school grade level
  • Difficulties with reading comprehension
  • School avoidance
  • Tilting head to one side

If your child is displaying any of these signs of a visual dysfunction, it is important to visit your eye doctor for a comprehensive evaluation of your child’s vision and visual skills.

Which visual skills are necessary for reading?

  • Accommodation – the eyes’ ability to switch focus between two distances while maintaining clear vision, such as reading at a desk and then looking at a blackboard.
  • Binocular fusion – the brain’s ability to form a single image using the distinct visual information it receives from each eye.
  • Convergence – the eyes’ ability to maintain a single image by simultaneously turning inward to focus on a near object, such as a book or computer screen.
  • Saccades – rapid eye movements between two or more focus points, such as when the eyes move from one word to the next when reading a sentence across a page.
  • Visual fixation – the eye’s ability to accurately focus on a target image, such as a word on a page.

How does vision therapy help?

Vision therapy is a fully customized treatment program designed to improve and strengthen the visual skills.

Each vision therapy program is customized to the individual needs of each child, and may include specialized lenses, prisms, filters, and eye exercises to help retrain the eye-brain connections and improve vision.

By participating in a vision therapy program your child will start to improve in school and it will provide them with the necessary tools to succeed academically.

LEARN MORE: Vision for School

Schedule a functional vision evaluation with a developmental optometrist, and give your child the chance to achieve success— both in the classroom and in the future.