3 Warning Signs of Vision Problems That Hold Your Kids Back In School
How are your kids doing in school? Are they happy and well-adjusted? How are their grades?
Of course we all want positive answers to these questions when it comes to our children. However, sometimes vision problems can hold them back. Issues with vision can make your child’s scholastic experience difficult and frustrating. Trouble with vision can turn them off to reading and even lead to behavioral problems. So what are some of the warning signs of these issues?
Let’s start with observations.
Does your child squint? Or do they complain of headaches after or during reading? Do they ever tell you they have blurred or even double vision? Excessively rubbing the eyes can also be a red flag. If you notice your child tilting their head or covering or closing one eye while reading or performing close tasks, that can be evidence of difficulty with eye teaming and focusing – even if they have 20/20 eyesight! How bad is their handwriting?
Does your child have trouble with eye-hand coordination? After all, visual problems do not always manifest themselves with reading or writing. They can also come to the forefront when your child is playing sports. While not every child can, say, hit a hanging curve ball or make a hook shot every time, most school-age children should be able to pick up a ball and pass or toss it toward another person.
Now let’s look at behavior.
How are your child’s reading comprehension and speed? While children naturally have differing abilities at different stages of their lives, is your child satisfactorily reading at grade level? When they write, do they use correct words, or do they confuse words, particularly similar ones (e. g. the and that)? Or do they add or omit words regularly? Do they still reverse words or letters after second grade?
Do they have trouble copying from the board at school? What does their teacher say? Teachers can be your best resource when it comes to investigating your child’s behavior. However, always supplement with observations of your own.
Finally, let’s take a look at secondary symptoms.
Does your child suffer from low self-esteem? While poor self-esteem can have a myriad of origins, the issue is whether that connects to learning or to any of the above behaviors and observations. If your child feels defeated by reading, or claims they will never be able to perform basic sports fundamentals, then that may be a clue. No one should expect a young child to read at the college level or play sports competitively with the pros, and someone is always the slowest reader or runner. But your child should still be able to perform within the average range for their age.
And finally, how does your child feel about school? Are they frustrated, annoyed, or even aggressive about it? Is their attention span shorter than it should be at their age?
Any of these signs can warn of vision problems which can affect your child’s performance in school. What to do?
If you or your child experiences any of the above issues, start with a free online assessment. Then you can schedule an appointment with one of Wexford’s leading developmental optometrists, Dr. Massucci, and see if your child is struggling with a learning-related vision problem.