Vision and Learning are closely related, with vision being the dominant sense in the classroom and the main way in which new information comes to a child. Yet it is one of the most frequently overlooked facets of a child’s learning experience!
Behavioural Optometrists believe that vision is an easy and obvious place to start when trying to find help for a child’s learning problems. Most often, it has very little to do with whether a child can see the print. The bigger issue is how they take in, process and understand the letters and words they are seeing.
There’s more to Vision and Learning
Most optometrists measure sight, and proclaim a child fit to learn if they can see the print and are not long or short sighted. I hear phrases like, “My child has 20/20 vision,” which means they can see the words, but can they flow, can they understand and can they actually read?
There is far more to vision and learning than just being able to see. I see perfectly well, yet I visit a Chinese city and despite a University education, despite a reasonable intelligence and good vision, I cannot understand the signs! I can’t even try and pronounce them, yet I see them! Clearly there is more to learning and reading than just seeing!
The fact is I cannot understand Chinese. I don’t know the code, so the symbols are meaningless to me. Children with learning disabilities can experience this with the words they try to understand, so a true test for vision and learning must go far beyond just a child’s seeing ability.
A True Test of Vision and Learning
When Behavioural Optometrists like me examine children, we want to go beyond the simple prescription and seeing ability of the child. We will look at how the child’s visual system balances as they read, how they move their eyes across the page, how they coordinate their eyes as a team and how they understand and interpret the symbols on a page.
Our aim is to examine HOW the child learns, and how they use the visual skills that are essential for good learning. Now most kids develop these during grade school, but children with learning problems often fail to develop or under develop these skills. The best news of all is that using a combination of special lenses and targeted eye exercises (vision therapy) we can improve these basic building blocks of vision and learning.
The result is that we can have a significant impact on a child’s learning ability if we perform the right eye tests with your child, and use the right glasses or therapy to help them.
The Eye CU Difference
At Eye CU, we want to go further and help your children, especially if they are struggling with their learning. We do this because we care, and because we want to improve your child’s ability to learn effectively. We do it because we are passionate about it.
We do this because we believe there is a strong relationship between vision and learning, and our calling is to maximize the potential of all children, even if they are struggling with learning problems.