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Vision and Learning

Vision is an important part of learning at Advanced Vision Therapy Center in Boise Idaho

 

Everyday in our schools students are presented with information that they are required to look at, interpret, and process that information. For years it was believed that the eyes had nothing to do with learning. That is definitely not the case. Did you know it is estimated that 80% of what we learn is through visual information?

 

 

We care about your child's vision at Advanced Vision Therapy Center in Boise Idaho

 

Visual information is not just referring to the ability to see 20/20, it is so much more than that. While seeing an object clearly is important, eye teaming is also very important. Eye-teaming in a generalized term that encompasses a variety of skills implying that the eyes are working together. These skills, when working properly, ensure we see things singly (instead of doubled), maintain clarity, allow the eyes to shift focus between two points while maintaining focus, allows sustained near work, and allows the eyes to read across a line of words without skipping letters or words. Keep in mind this is a short list of all things eye-teaming does.

 

Of course the eyes use more than eye-teaming to get us through the day. There is also visual perceptual skills. Visual perceptual skills allow us to interpret our visual environment. These skills are especially helpful while in the classroom. Visual perceptual skills help us recognize similarities and differences, find important information within a paragraph, help us find Waldo, be able to recognize something in a different context, helps with legible handwriting and drawing, and helps us remember what we have seen.

 

So while it is important that someone can see 20/20, keep in mind testing for acuity is only looking at how one eye sees at a time. This does not take into consideration how the eyes are working together. Of course this seems like an appropriate time to re-iterate that a vision screening doesn't evaluate anything but visual acuity. Think about the skills that have been missed during a screening. Also please keep in mind there are other considerations to the eye that haven't been mentioned such as ocular health and ocular alignment. Did you know that children can have cataracts and did you know not all eye turns can be cosmetically noticed? Also did you know that eyes don't just develop turns (or strabismus) that turn in or out? They can also go up and down Any eye misalignment can make things more difficult for a child in the classroom, regardless of the size. Eye-turns are important to evaluate if this is a long-standing problem, if there is a specific cause such as a cranial nerve palsy, and determine what visual effects this is having on that child's learning.

 

Please keep in mind that learning does not begin when a child enters preschool or kindergarten. Learning through the visual system begins during infancy. An infant relies on visual cues to develop relationships with their parents and even help motivate them to crawl. If they see a toy out of reach they are more inclined to try to get that toy. Because the visual system is so important to development the American Optometric Association recommends the first eye exam occur the first birthday, usually around 6-9 months of age. This is examination is called an InfantSEE exam and it is a free comprehensive examination before the child's first birthday.

 

Comprehensive eye examinations with a residency trained pediatric optometrist can offer a lot of helpful insight to visual skills that can be causing difficulties in the classroom or development for that child.

 

 

Visual Skills

Symptoms

Refractive Error

Blurred vision, squinting, headaches, fatigue

Convergence

Double Vision, fluctuating vision, headaches, words appear to move on the page

Accommodation

Difficulty switching focus from near to far, blurred vision

Ocular Movements

Skipping words/lines on the page

Ocular Alignment

Double vision, headaches, skipping words/lines on the page

Visual perceptual skills

Mistakes words with similar beginnings, difficulty remembering what has been seen before, whispers while reading, slopping handwriting, can give verbal answers but struggles with written answers, difficulty sounding out words

 

 

Posted by Ryan Johnson at 7/20/2017 10:28:00 PM
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Advanced Vision Therapy Center is Idaho’s premier clinic for Vision Therapy, Neuro-Optometric Vision Rehabilitation and Sports Vision Training. We offer vision assessments and customized treatment for both children and adults that are tailored to the specific vision condition of each individual.

Not sure which type of vision assessment is right for you? Call us today and we'll help you determine the best assessment to achieve your visual goals.

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