How important is good vision to learning?  Vision is a dominant process in the growth, development and daily performance of children.  Approximately 80 percent of all learning during a child’s first 12 years comes through vision.  Undetected and untreated vision problems can interfere with the ability to perform to one’s full learning potential.  When these vision problems have an adverse effect on learning, they are referred to as learning-related vision problems.

Learning-related vision problems can affect comprehension performance in reading and manifest as social, eye-hand coordination, discipline or emotional problems.  From there, such vision problems can impact the rest of your child’s life and their ability to succeed.

Learning-Related Vision Problems Facts and Figures:

  • The National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) estimates that there are 10 million children under 10 years of age in the U.S. that have vision problems.
  • Up to 25% of all school age children have vision problems significant enough to impair academic performance. The rate may be as high as 60% for those labeled as having learning problems.
  • An evaluation of the visual efficiency of beginning readers in a public school found that visual factors were the primary cause of reading failure and that the most current school screenings are inadequate to detect these problems.
  • A study of inner city youths found that poor vision is related to academic and behavioral problems among at risk children.
  • Vision problems are often typically misdiagnosed as learning disabilities or ADD/ADHA leading to special education intervention and unnecessary drug treatment of school children.
  • The 20/20 eye chart test only measures what you can see far away, not the “up-close” ability to see books or computers, nor the ability of the eyes and brain to work together in processing visual information.

After reviewing statistics it becomes overwhelmingly obvious every child should have a comprehensive optometric evaluation in which all aspects of vision are assessed. This includes measuring eye teaming skills or how the eyes work together, sustainable focusing for up close work, tracking skills, or how accurately and smoothly eyes move together across a page of print and finally, visual information processing skills.

The good news is that with early diagnosis and appropriate intervention, prognosis is good in most cases of learning related visual problems.  Many parents assume vision screenings provide adequate testing however, they do not.  Specific aspects of learning related vision problems cannot be assessed in screenings and unfortunately, they miss a significant portion of children needing help.  Although screening programs are necessary and extremely helpful, they only skim the surface

At Cockrell Eyecare Center our team of doctors has the experience to diagnose and manage learning related visual problems.  If you would like more information concerning your child’s eye and vision health, please call our office in Stillwater at 405-372-1715, or in Pawnee, at 918-762-2573. We also invite you to visit our website at www.cockrelleyecare.com and like us on Facebook at Cockrell Eye Care Center!

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