2021 Update: Vision Therapy for Learning

Editor: Dr. Russel Lazarus, Published April 25, 2021

Up to 80 percent of all learning comes through the visual pathways.

Vision gives a person the ability to see near and distant objects. There are 17 visual skills that are necessary to perform at school and the office, these are all critical for learning.

Research shows 25 percent of children have a significant vision problem that impacts their learning, according to the American Optometric Association (AOA).

If your child has a problem with any of their 17 visual skills their learning and reading could be affected.

Schedule an eye exam with an eye doctor near you who can evaluate and determine if your child has a vision problem.

How do visual problems impact the child?

Vision problems can affect a child’s reading, writing and spelling along with other aspects of learning. If your child’s vision is compromised then their academic performance may suffer.

Vision problems can impact any of these:

  • Attention and concentration
  • Classroom performance
  • Handwriting
  • Homework completion
  • Reading fluency
  • Reading comprehension
  • Spelling
  • Visual arts

Vision problems and learning difficulties

If your child has a learning difficulty, the cause may be an undiagnosed vision problem. 

Two visual skills, saccades and visual integration, are instrumental in a child’s ability to read.

Saccades is a skill that enables fluid reading. This skill allows your eyes to move smoothly and in coordination across a line on a page. Without it, words may be omitted in a sentence or a child may make word assumptions that can affect the meaning of the sentence and/or passage.

Visual integration is a skill that allows a child to read words accurately, seeing the order and shape of each letter in a word. Without visual integration, a child may confuse letters such as b and d or p and q, or confuse words such as ‘was’ and ‘saw’.

If your child is having difficulty reading at grade level, schedule an appointment with an eye doctor near you, who can evaluate your child’s vision and visual skills.

Vision therapy and learning

Vision therapy is a personalized treatment program that involves a series of eye exercises to strengthen the eye-brain connection, improve visual skills and overall learning and school achievements.

It is important to treat vision problems as early as possible so that your child can achieve optimal results and reach their full potential in school.

If you think your child may have a vision problem, schedule a comprehensive vision evaluation with a vision therapy eye doctor near you.

The doctor will be able to detect any vision problems, and will discuss how vision therapy could improve your child’s learning.