Vision Problems that Affect Learning
Does it seem like your child has difficulty connecting visually with what they are learning? Do you often see their eyes wandering off and them not engaging with the learning material? Underlying vision issues can make it exponentially harder for students to learn and pay attention.
Here are some examples of how vision can impact the following types of students:
Dyslexia: Vision can affect children that struggle with dyslexia by causing them to skip lines frequently when they read, cause words to swim or move around on the page, and magnify difficulties with fluency. Many children with dyslexia also struggle with visual processing difficulties, especially understanding spatial concepts. Confusion with letter and number reversals, though commonly correlated with dyslexia, indicate a visual processing problem that may exist concurrently with dyslexia.
Dysgraphia/dyscalculia: Difficulties with math and writing can also stem from visual processing difficulties. Students that have trouble visualizing math concepts, judging distances, or interpreting angles and proportions all indicate visual processing difficulties. Students that struggle with writing may not have difficulty with drawing a straight line, rather they struggle with the ability to translate what they are thinking about down onto paper.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): ADHD is when a student struggles with inattention, hyperactivity, and/or impulsivity. Did you know that students that suffer from convergence insufficiency and accommodative problems can show these types of behaviors because they are struggling with their vision? If a child is frequently breaking into blurry and double vision, it will affect their ability to be able to pay attention and focus in school. This can cause behaviors that look like ADHD, but are actually in response to difficulties with their vision.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): ASD is a developmental disorder that affects communication, social interaction, and behavior. Common vision problems in children with ASD include sensory processing issues (aversion to bright lights, complex patterns), difficulty tracking while reading, peripheral vision problems, poor depth perception, strabismus or amblyopia. Children with ASD may also have visual processing problems such as spatial awareness, visual memory, and visual sequencing. Visual Processing difficulties significantly impact academic performance, making it difficult to read, write, and do math.
Down Syndrome: Students with Down Syndrome can have high prescriptions, lazy eye (strabismus or amblyopia), nystagmus (shaking eyes), dry eye, or keratoconus. Not only does this cause blurry vision, but can also make it difficult for them to learn how to read. Visual processing deficits such as visual memory and visual motor integration may also make learning to read and write more difficult.
What You Can Do About It
If your child has learning difficulties, it’s essential to schedule a Visual Efficiency Evaluation with a developmental optometrist. This is more than just a typical eye exam, but is an in depth evaluation of the vision system to detect underlying vision problems that are affecting their learning.
Schedule Your Eye Exam Today!