- “25% of students in grades K-6 have visual problems that are serious enough to impede learning.” – American Public Health Association
- “It is estimated that 80% of children with a learning disability have an undiagnosed vision problem.” – Vision Council of America
- “Early diagnosis and treatment of children’s vision problems is a necessary component to school readiness and academic learning; and that vision screening is not a substitute for a complete eye and vision evaluation by an eye doctor. Comprehensive eye and vision examinations…are important for all children first entering school and regularly throughout their school-aged years to ensure healthy eyes and adequate visual skills essential for successful academic achievement.” – National PT Policy Statement 2005, Elements of Comprehensive Health Programs
Amidst the excitement of new school supplies, bus routes and teachers, a yearly eye exam is often overlooked. Poor eyesight and visual skills affect academics. Even small amounts of farsightedness or astigmatism have been shown to affect reading speed and increase fatigue when doing near-work. Visual skills such as eye coordination, fine eye movements and focusing skills have been implicated in contributing to poor academic performance.
Sometimes a yearly eye exam is not enough to catch the visual skills that can affect school because vision is more than just 20/20. If the need arises, we can conduct a full visual skills analysis as it relates to academics. We specialize in vision development and its effects on learning and development. This point is important. An eye doctor who does not specialize in this area will overlook the role of visual skills. We have seen many struggling students who have been told by their previous eye doctor that “their eyes are just fine” when they actually have visual skills problems affecting learning. Once their visual skills deficiencies have been diagnosed and treated, their academic struggles improved. Those doctors did not do anything wrong. In fact, they provided excellent yearly eye exams to those students. However, visual skills and its effects on academics was not the area of expertise of those doctors.
Every student should receive a yearly eye exam during the school year. Any child who is struggling with school should also have a full visual skills analysis. For more information on what we do, please visit our website or call us.