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Why A Vision Screening in Sacramento Is Not Enough

How can I tell if my child has vision problems that affect their ability to read and learn?

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Home » Eye Care Services » Pediatric Eye Exams » Vision screening is not enough

Learning is 80% or more visual. Reading, writing, spelling, computer work, and seeing the board are all learning tasks that our children are required to perform in order to achieve success at school. These visual tasks and others that will be discussed below are all tasks that require accurate vision and quick visual response times, at near, middle, and far distances.

Experts say that 20% of school-aged children do not possess the visual skill set that allows them to excel in school. It is important to remember that this 20% is referencing children with and without glasses or contact lenses, because having 20/20 vision addresses only one aspect of vision. A child in school will use a wide variety of visual skills that not only affect reading speed and accuracy, but also include reading comprehension and the ability to quickly browse through text.

How Children React To Visual Problems

Children react differently depending on their personality, visual deficiency, and social situation.

Common behaviors include:

  • Homework wars
  • Staying away from any near visual tasks
  • Developing their own visual shortcuts, which may include tilting their head, squinting or closing one eye, or other tricks they devise to help them gain normal vision
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling tired or even physically exhausted after school or homework
  • Performing a superficial job of reading or near task assignments, demonstrating a low understanding
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Why A School Vision Screening Is Just Not Enough

A school vision screening tests the ability to pass the eye chart from 20 feet away. Studies show that 43% of children with vision problems can pass a school vision screening. This is because many children have visual issues that are simply not evident when assessing distance vision. Examples of children who can pass a vision screening are those with double vision, binocular vision issues, and tracking or visual perceptual problems.

Early identification of a child’s vision problems is crucial because, if left untreated, they may cause permanent vision loss. All vision problems can affect school performance and social integration.

What Is A Vision Screening?

An eye chart – nothing in depth, only distance vision.

Parents And Educators Should Be Concerned About Undiagnosed Vision Issues

One of the main causes for concern about undiagnosed vision problems is struggling with school work.

When a child has difficulty with tasks such as reading and homework, they are far too often misdiagnosed with behavioral or learning problems, when in reality, all that is holding them back is vision problems.

Thoughtful Kid Looking At Tablet While Resting On Soft Tapis Ins
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Emotional Effects of Vision Problems on Children

Children struggling with eye tracking skills tend to read at a slower pace than their peers, often losing their place, leading to further frustration. They often spend more time on tasks than their similarly situated classmates, causing them to fall behind in their studies.

These kinds of experiences can affect them emotionally, spilling over into their personal relationships. Feelings of disappointment, irritability, or even failure can lead to resentment of friends, siblings, parents, and educators.

This is why it is so critical to ensure children have regular eye exams beyond standard vision screenings. Early detection of potential vision problems can be treated more effectively, giving kids a more positive, happy, and successful learning experience.