Did you know that 1 in 10 children has vision problems significant enough to affect their learning? The traditional “20/20” vision screening, often administered to children at schools and pediatrician offices, fails to diagnose more than 50% of these serious vision problems. Since 80% of learning happens through sight, a vision-related learning problem can greatly hinder your child’s ability to succeed at school.
Imagine you are back in elementary school. Your teacher asks you to read an assignment on the board and answer questions on a handout. For most students, this wouldn’t be a difficult task. But, imagine that you’re struggling to read the small print on the paper and can’t quite see the instructions on the whiteboard or screen. You would lose focus pretty quickly, wouldn’t you? This is an everyday reality for children who suffer from vision-related learning problems.
There’s no question that being able to concentrate is key to succeeding in school. However, because children with vision problems find it hard to read text that is small or far away, they find it hard to focus on school work. Ultimately, poor vision can negatively affect a child’s ability to learn and grow in an educational setting.
What’s every kid’s favorite subject in school? Recess, of course! Playing sports and games outside is not only a wonderful social opportunity for kids, it’s also a way for them to burn off excess energy so they can focus on learning in the classroom. In fact, studies show that exercise during the school day can increase academic performance.
However, children with an undiagnosed vision problem tend to avoid recreational activities that require distance vision, such as team sports and may demonstrate poor hand-eye coordination. When a child does not participate in physical activity during the day, they miss out on the benefits exercise can have on their academic performance and motor development.
Poor vision can affect learning by lowering reading comprehension skills. Our eyes must work together effectively to move across a page, make sense of letters, and understand what is written. Children with a vision-related learning problem will typically lose their place while reading and confuse similar looking words because they can’t properly see the text. Because of this, children with poor vision often show signs of poor reading comprehension and may struggle to keep up with class assignments.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “you are as smart as you think you are”? In the case of students who have vision-related learning problems, this cliche could not be more true! In fact, studies show that when a child is confident in their academic abilities, they are more likely to succeed in school.
However, without the ability to see the board, do homework, or participate in class discussions based on readings, children with vision-related learning problems will feel inadequate compared to their peers and might struggle to reach their full potential in the classroom.
Falling behind due to a vision-related learning problem can hinder a child’s learning and affect their ability to develop important foundation skills. Make sure your child has the vision skills needed to succeed in school by choosing to schedule a comprehensive vision exam today.
EPF Eye Care—formerly Evans, Piggott, & Finney—is a private optometry practice with locations in Lafayette, West Lafayette, and Attica, Indiana. With ten eye doctors and five locations, EPF offers convenient and specialty eye care for the entire family.
Call EPF Eye Care to schedule an appointment, and follow the practice on Facebook.