People often believe that if a child has 20/20 vision, they have perfect eyesight. This isn’t always the case. Having 20/20 eyesight refers to the ability to see clearly from 20 feet away. This doesn’t guarantee that a child has the visual skills needed to read properly, pay attention in class, writing, and other tasks required for academic success.
It may surprise you that many students who show signs of a learning difficulty actually have a vision problem. According to the National PTA, approximately 10 million school-age children suffer from vision problems that make it more difficult for them to learn in a classroom setting.
If your child is struggling in school, Dr. Marianne Hopkins can determine whether the problem is related to their vision and provide a vision therapy program to help them succeed.
Vision Screenings vs Comprehensive Eye Exam
While school vision screenings might detect significant lazy eye or myopia, they miss many other vision problems, such as issues with focusing, depth perception, or eye tracking.
A comprehensive eye exam, on the other hand, checks for farsightedness, nearsightedness, astigmatism, eye focusing abilities, eye tracking, eye focusing, visual skills, binocular eye coordination, and visual processing.
What Signs Should Parents and Teachers Look For?
Below is a list of signs and symptoms indicating that a child may be experiencing vision difficulties:
- Difficulty paying attention
- Complains of frequent headaches
- Difficulty with comprehension
- Complains of double or blurry vision
- Makes errors when copying from the board
- Reads below grade level
- Holds reading material close to the face
- Reverses words or letters while reading or writing
- Loses place or skips words when reading
- Confuses or omits small words while reading
- Rubs eyes
- Slow to finish written assignments
- Frequently squints
- Tilts head or covers one eye
- Spelling difficulties
- Uses finger pointing when reading
How Does Vision Therapy Help?
Vision therapy is a personalized treatment program designed to strengthen and improve your child’s visual skills.
Each vision therapy program is customized to your child’s needs and may include specialized lenses, filters, or prisms, alongside personalized eye exercises to help retrain the brain-eye connection and improve your child’s school performance.
If you think a vision problem may be affecting your child's academic performance, vision therapy may provide them with the necessary visual skills to succeed in school.
Frequently Asked Questions with Our Vision Therapist in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
- A: A child's vision problem can impact all aspects of learning. Often, children with vision problems are told they have a learning difficulty, when in fact, their brain isn't properly processing what their eyes see. Vision problems can affect a child’s reading skills and comprehension, handwriting, spelling, classroom performance, concentration and attention, and visual skills.
- A: Discovering a vision problem in children can be difficult, as they may lack the verbal skills to describe what they're experiencing or may not realize that they have a vision problem.Common indicators that your child may have a vision problem include:
- Covering one eye
- Behavioral problems
- Reading avoidance
- Difficulties with reading comprehension
- Frequent blinking
- Excessive fidgeting
- Limited attention span
- Reading below school grade level
- Tilting head to one side
If your child displays any of these signs, make sure you set up a visit to an eye doctor at The St. Catharines Vision Therapy Centre at Dr. Hopkins & Associates Optometry to evaluate their visual skills and find out whether your child could benefit from vision therapy.
The St. Catharines Vision Therapy Centre at Dr. Hopkins & Associates Optometry serves patients from Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Falls, Welland , and St. Catharines, all throughout Ontario.