Contemplating whether vision therapy is right for your child?
If your child has been diagnosed with a vision problem that is disrupting more than just their clarity of vision, vision therapy may be the answer you have been searching for.
Vision encompasses at least 17 different visual skills that enable us to complete the very actions we perform on a daily basis— including reading this article with ease of fluency and comprehension.
Below are 8 different domains that may be affected by your child’s vision problem. Fortunately, these essential skills can be corrected with vision therapy.
1. Reading fluency
Reading fluency is characterized by the ability to read smoothly, accurately, and with proper intonation. Fluency enables automatic recognition of words, and the ability to sound natural while reading aloud.
If your child is reading below grade level, they most likely have difficulty with reading fluency.
Reading fluency also facilitates reading comprehension, another important academic skill.
Reading fluency is dependent on the strength of the eyes’ ability to work together, which can impact:
- Eye tracking (binocular vision)
- Focusing on the same word at the same time (convergence)
- Making quick movements from one word to another (saccades)
- Changing focus from near to distant images (accommodation)
- Maintaining focus over an extended period of time (visual fixation).
All of these skills are required for fluent reading— and can also make reading more enjoyable.
2. Reading comprehension
Reading comprehension helps the story or text to come alive.
Comprehension enables understanding, the ability to relate to the text and facilitates recall of the material at hand.
Reading comprehension is dependent on the eyes’ ability to switch focus from near to distant images (accommodation), work together to focus on the words (convergence), and make quick eye movements from one word to another (saccades).
These skills enable reading fluency— an essential reading skill for comprehension.
Writing is essential for completing assignments and exams, as well as taking notes.
Fine visual motor skills are necessary for legible handwriting, while visual perception skills enable visualization of words for appropriately sized and shaped letters.
These visual skills are vital for a child to be able to write neatly for an extended period of time, with ease of motion.
SEE MORE: 10 Signs My Child Needs Vision Therapy
Contact an eye doctor near you to see if your child has a vision problem that is affecting their academic success.
Find a Vision Therapy Eye Doctor Near You
Accurate spelling is an important skill, not only for school but for life. Being able to spell correctly can mean the difference between landing a job interview and being left jobless— as an interview questionnaire can tell a lot about a person’s strengths and weaknesses.
Correct spelling is dependent on the ability to see with absolute clarity (focusing skills), as this is necessary for word memory.
Spelling skills are also dependent on the eyes’ ability to use smooth binocular movements to read words accurately (pursuits).
5. Eye-hand coordination
Eye-hand coordination enables successful performance of activities that require the simultaneous use of the eyes and hands,
Accurate eye-hand coordination is vital for playing sports and video games, typing and writing, and driving.
This coordination between the two body parts allows our hands to respond quickly to visual stimuli.
6. Concentration and attention
The ability to maintain concentration and attention during class is required for success in all academic areas. This skill is also necessary for following directions during games, activities and even daily tasks.
Children with attention issues can be misdiagnosed with ADHD, when their difficulties are really due to an undiagnosed vision problem.
Peripheral vision is an essential skill when it comes to maintaining attention, as it allows you to view your surrounding environment without having to turn your head. This significantly reduces distraction from nearby noise and movement.
7. Visual memory
Visual memory is important for all aspects of learning, as well as daily life. This skill facilitates easy recall of symbols, objects, shapes, numbers, etc.
Visual memory is a skill that is essential for reading, writing, copying, memorizing, spelling and completing math equations.
8. Self esteem
Low self esteem, frustration, anger and other emotional challenges can surface as a result of constant academic, athletic and social challenges that may arise when a vision problem affects success in these areas.
Self-esteem is an integral part of a child’s healthy development and essential to building confidence and social skills.
When given the tools to succeed, a child can spread their wings, and feel empowered and confident.
How does vision therapy help?
Vision therapy is an effective treatment program designed to strengthen the visual skills necessary for clear and comfortable vision.
Vision therapy aims to retrain the visual system, including the eye-brain connections to get to the core of the vision problem and treat it once and for all.
Vision therapy has been proven to aid academic scores and sports performance as well as successfully treat lazy eye and eye turns.
A vision therapy program may include the use of specialized lenses, prisms, occluders and other tools, along with eye exercises practiced under the guidance of an eye doctor or vision therapist.
Vision therapy can help your child to improve in their areas of weakness, increase their self esteem and enable them to reach their full potential.
LEARN MORE: Guide to Vision Therapy
Schedule an appointment with an eye doctor near you to learn more about vision therapy and take the first step toward helping your child succeed.
If your child has been diagnosed with a vision problem that is impacting their school grades, vision therapy may be the answer you have been searching for.
Do All Optometrists Provide Vision Therapy? »