Many children are highly visual in their learning processes. They rely heavily on the communication between their eyes and their brains to help them absorb information and understand the world around them. Because the learning process relies so much on vision, a poorly functioning visual system can negatively affect academic performance. In fact, even the brightest children can struggle if their visual system is working against them. It is estimated that over 20% of children have a visual problem that is affecting their ability to learn. To promote efficient visual learning, it requires more than the ability to read an entire eye chart. Read more to learn about how vision can impact academic success.
The learning process demands a lot from the visual system. Children and their eyes must have strong and flexible focusing systems to allow them to effortlessly view objects on their desks as well as information on the board at the front of the classroom. Visual processing, eye teaming, and eye tracking are vital visual skills required for efficient reading and comprehension. All these visual components help the eyes and brain communicate efficiently. If any of these aspects of the visual system are not working properly, more energy is required to process information, and it is more difficult to learn efficiently. These complex visual skills go far beyond the ability to see “perfect 20/20,” and may be missed in vision screening. If problems exist in these aspects of a child’s visual system, it may result in decreased school performance.
Problems with the visual system that may be impacting your child’s learning can be difficult to catch. However, there are some important signs to look out for. Your child may complain of headaches while reading, or get very tired when doing extended amounts of homework. They may also complain about words jumping around on the page, or frequently lose their place while reading. These can be signs of problems with the eyes accommodative or convergence systems. Other signs can be reading below grade level or having poor reading comprehension. Many children who are very bright can struggle with homework or become very frustrated with school tasks. In these cases, it may be due to an underlying problem with the visual system.
Many children who have reading problems and learning disabilities are negatively impacted by poor visual skills. In vision therapy, these visual problems can be identified and treated. Vision therapy provides children with the tools to strengthen their visual systems and improve their visual skills, making it easier and more enjoyable to learn. Countless children have seen a drastic improvement in classroom performance after identifying a visual problem and addressing it with vision therapy. Vision therapy can provide children with fundamental tools to enhance their learning performance, and can remove some of the stress and frustration that children poor visual skills may experience in academic settings.