The end of the school year is fast approaching. Many parents are starting to worry about their children's final report card. Although poor grades are often difficult to turn around at this time of year, the good news is that summer is an excellent opportunity to get a jump-start on next year.
If you are like many parents, you may have tried tutoring, discipline, and possibly even special services at school. If your bright child continues to struggle despite everything you have tried, you may be overlooking something basic that could make all the difference.
Undiagnosed vision problems can make reading almost impossible. Many people have been told that their child sees "20/20," or has "perfect vision". It is important to know that there are over 15 visual skills critical to reading and learning in addition to being able to see the letters on the eye chart.
While children typically don't know to complain about their vision problem, the signs are there. Does your child:
Omit or substitute small words (like "of" for "for", or "if" for "of," etc.)?
Get frustrated trying to read or do homework?
Take much longer doing his/her homework than it should?
Have trouble making out words?
Slow when copying or make many errors?
Find it harder to read at the end of the day than in the morning?
Skip words or repeat lines when reading out loud to you?
Reverse letters like b's into d's when reading?
Have a short attention span with schoolwork?
If your child has any of these, he or she may have an undiagnosed vision problem that is interfering with academic success. So, when your child's report card shows that he or she is not working up to potential, consider scheduling a developmental vision evaluation as soon as possible.
A developmental vision evaluation is different than a vision screening or a regular vision exam. A developmental vision evaluation is typically an in-depth evaluation that tests ALL the visual skills critical to reading and learning. This type of testing is performed by a developmental optometrist. The good news is the majority of vision problems that interfere with reading and learning are often treatable.