Most children have no idea how they are supposed to see. Therefore, it is important that you know the signs of a vision problem that may be interfering with your child’s ability to read and learn.
"According to the American Federation of Teachers, vision plays an important role in our children’s education and: Even the most gifted students will struggle academically if they have trouble seeing the blackboard or focusing on a book. A tremendous amount of learning happens visually, so proper vision care is crucial to helping students reach their full potential."
- American Federation of Teachers
Vision screenings in school and at the pediatrician's office usually only test distance vision. Most people think that 20/20 is "perfect vision," when in fact, 20/20 is a measurement of what someone is able to see at a distance of 20 feet. Most of our learning is through reading which occurs at approximately 16 inches.
There are 17 visual skills required for reading and learning, including the ability to point the eyes together, to focus the eyes, and to move the eyes across a page properly. These skills are often not tested in common vision screenings. Passing a vision screening, which tests distance vision, leads parents to incorrectly believe that nothing is wrong. An exam from the eye doctor’s office is designed to test how healthy your eyes are and to see if you need glasses or contact lenses. The routine eye exam is not designed to test the 17 visual skills required for academic success.
If any of these visual skills are not working properly, it can make reading and learning an unnecessary challenge. Some children develop behavior problems, while others develop avoidance tactics or simply refuse to read. Usually the child is bright, causing parents to be confused by their difficulties.
Often the child is labeled hyperactive, lazy, or slow. Many of the symptoms caused by underlying visual problems can easily be mistaken as learning disabilities or attention problems such as Attention Deficit (Hyperactive) Disorder or ADD/ADHD.
1 out of 4 children struggle with reading and learning because of undiagnosed vision problems
Over 60% of problem learners have undiagnosed vision problems
80% of learning in the classroom is visual
Majority of vision problems that interfere with reading and learning are treatable
Seeing clearly (“20/20”) is just one of 17 visual skills critical to academic success
Research has shown, that when appropriate, vision therapy can be instrumental in helping increase visual attention spans for children learning to read. Often, children who were falling behind in reading can improve their performance greatly by reducing the effects of their vision problems. Vision therapy can teach us to enjoy learning and become more confident, happier people.
If your child struggles with reading or learning, call our office at (973) 804-6565 to schedule an appointment today.
Monday: 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Tuesday: 2:30 PM - 6:15 PM
Wednesday: 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Thursday: 7:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Friday: 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Saturday & Sunday: Closed
Holiday Hours: Closed Federal Holidays
Please call or leave us a message at (973) 804-6565.
Vision Development Center of NJ
Sari R. Schwartz, OD, FCOVD, FAAO
225 Millburn Avenue, Suite 208 B
Millburn, NJ 07041
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