Today’s guest blogger is Dr. Kellye Knueppel.  Dr. Knueppel practices in Brookfield,  Wisconsin.   She has helped over 2,000 people of all ages overcome their vision problems, since 1995. 

Now that kids are back-to-school, they can expect to encounter new grades, challenges, and experiences.    In these new learning situations, parents need to be especially vigilant of vision problems beyond visual acuity issues.

Visual acuity, commonly called 20/20 eyesight, is just one component of good vision.  A properly functioning visual system must also include good visual skills, such as eye teaming and tracking, as well as visual processing.  Many of these visual skills are not detected by typical vision screening.

Entering a new grade can cause some of these vision problems to become symptomatic.  Increased visual challenges, accelerated comprehension levels, and even computer use can cause breakdowns in the visual system if your child has an undetected vision problem.

As a parent, you’ll be the first to notice these issues, as your child’s new teacher(s) may be unfamiliar with his or her abilities.  You should then be extremely vigilant about any of these telltale symptoms of a vision problem.  Your child may exhibit the following behaviors or symptoms:

1. Come home from a day at school extremely fatigued, even though he or she is eating and drinking properly.

2.  Exhibit sloppy penmanship and disorganized notes.

3.  Complain about not being able to stay focused on a book, or to find that textbooks make him or her sleepy.

4.  Experience dizziness, headaches, or fatigued eyes.

5.  Become frustrated easily.

6.  Begin to hold books very close to his or her face when reading.

7.  Becomes easily distracted, or has a short attention span.

8.  Refuse to read, even if he or she was an avid reader before.

Make your child’s teacher aware of these issues and have the teacher record any symptoms he or she notices in class.  (You may want to pass along our Vision and Learning Guide as a frame of reference for the teacher as well.)

If the symptoms persist, consider taking your child in for a Functional Vision Test.   Remember, it’s often after the first month of school when these symptoms appear.  This is why it’s critical for parents to be on the watch for undetected vision problems.

Click here to download a free guide on undetected vision problems.