How the brain and eyes work together – vision – has a great impact on the learning process for both children and adults. Imagine sitting in a classroom taking notes and fighting a focusing problem that won’t allow you to change your focus from near to far and back again quickly enough to keep up with the instructor.
Imagine starting out a day being able to read a paragraph that looks like this:
Double vision often appears or gets worse as the day goes on. Many people block the vision in one eye to avoid seeing double. And as the day progresses and your visual system is stressed your paragraph begins to look like this:
Imagine reading a paragraph and having the letters or words appear to jump or move as you are trying to comprehend what you are reading.
In any of these cases, the person having the vision problem more than likely sees 20/20 either with or without compensatory lenses. Most school screenings check for visual acuity alone and do not screen for visual skills including tracking, focusing, eye teaming or perceptual skills. Even many basic eye exams do not always include these visual skills testing. Many children and adults do not realize that their struggles in the classroom and/or workplace are in no way linked to intelligence or how hard they are trying, instead they are not able to visually process the information put before them.
Not knowing the cause of classroom, and later adult life skills problems, can have a detrimental effect on self-esteem and behavior. Many children begin to be labeled as classroom problems, can grow into troubled teens and eventually struggling adults if their visual problems are not diagnosed and treated. One out of four children and seven out of ten juvenile delinquents have a vision disorder that is interfering with their ability to achieve.
Considering 80% of the information you process comes through your visual system, it’s not surprising that a vision problem can affect a number of different subjects. Click here to read a brief overview of how vision problems can manifest in various areas.
In order to perform to academic potential, students must develop a specific set of visual skills. The majority of children develop these skills before entering school but many do not. Deficiencies in these vision skills can often cause academic problems and sometimes be masqueraded as dyslexia and ADD.
Just as children learn to walk, talk, and ride a bike, they learn to use their eyes and see. Kids can easily judge how a friend or family member walks or talks but it’s very difficult to monitor how they see. As a result, the children with vision problems usually think that they see just like everyone else.
Unfortunately, if the words in a book become doubled or blurry, the child may assume this occurs to his peers as well. This is why most school aged children are “non-symptomatic” and don’t complain or address their observations to their parents or teacher.