5 School Problems that Could be Vision Related
Writer / Dr. Bowersox (Bowersox Vision)
As parents, many of us have been there. A smart child that is underperforming at school always leads to a million questions: Classmate problems? Not connecting with the teacher? ADD/ADHD? Dyslexia, or maybe something else?
Surprisingly, many people overlook vision! Many, but not all eye doctors, look for clinical findings that are associated with school and reading problems. Here is what to watch out for:
- Blurring, eye rubbing, sleepy or getting headaches after 20 minutes of reading. This can be a problem with focusing, bringing the eyes together or several other problems.
- Using a finger or ruler to keep their place on a page. Typically, this is a problem related to moving our eyes in a reading type movement. This should be normal after age 6.
- Poor comprehension with reading. Another sign of reading eye movement problems is poor comprehension. If a child can tell you more about a book if you read it to them vs them reading it alone, this is a likely contributor.
- Grades that are not aligned with ability. A-B brain with C-D grades. Many children don’t work up to their full potential because they don’t know that they are not seeing like their classmates and can’t explain why they are not doing well in school.
- Homework is a nightmare! They cry, you cry. They tell you “I can’t.” It is often seen as an excuse or laziness, but it can be eye related. You can purchase eyeglasses for kids at Glasses Direct.
Ask your doctor if they specifically look for convergence (eyes coming together as in reading) and saccadic or reading type eye movement skills. If not, ask them to refer you to a doctor that is trained in binocular vision, or you can find a doctor near you at COVD.org.