Johnny struggles with reading. He loves to be read to, but hates to read. Is he an auditory learner or is something else wrong? We are told that there are many different learning styles. Our job as parents can often be very difficult in then sorting out what is actually going on.
The Learning Disabilities Association of America suggests that when a child struggles with learning, it is important to check for vision and hearing problems. Unfortunately most people incorrectly assume that if a child's vision is determined to be "20/20" then there is nothing wrong. Particularly if a child is struggling with reading and schoolwork, it is vital for parents to understand the critical role that vision plays in the learning process. Seeing "20/20" is just one of the over 15 visual skills critical to learning, and is actually often one of the least important factors!
A child's vision can have a huge impact on their ability to pay attention, academic performance and behavior in the classroom. It is, however, often overlooked. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 20-25% of children enter school with significant vision problems that can affect their development and progress in school.
Children rarely complain when they have difficulty seeing the words on the page because they assume that everyone sees this way. At times a child might ask: "Can you stop the letters from moving?" Most of the time, however, a child will suffer in quiet desperation, thinking they are the stupid or not as smart as their classmates, because it seems to make sense to everyone else.
It therefore becomes even more critical for parents to be aware of some of the less obvious symptoms that indicate that a child could have a vision problem, including: problems with tracking, poor comprehension and attention span. Other symptoms are: losing place when reading, avoiding reading, rubbing eyes or blinking a great deal while reading. Reversing letters or words when reading or writing or leaving out small words while reading, are also symptoms of vision problems. Clumsiness and taking FOREVER when doing homework also may indicate that there is a vision issue.
If your child has any of these symptoms, he or she may have an undiagnosed vision problem that is interfering with academic success. If a child's report card indicates that your child is not working up to potential, consider scheduling a developmental vision evaluation as soon as possible.