Written by Dr. Marsha Sorensen

The signs that a child may have an eye coordination or eye tracking problem are easily mistaken for attention problems and learning problems.  Kids whose eyes aren’t coordinating well have trouble doing near work for long periods of time, and as a result, they may appear to have trouble paying attention to their schoolwork.   If a child has poor tracking and vision processing skills, it may take much longer than is normal for them to get through reading material and comprehend it.

It is estimated that 1 in 10 children have a vision problem that interferes with their ability to read and learn.   Vision is very important for learning- 80% of what’s learned in the classroom is visual.  There  are many different visual skills needed to succeed in the classroom. Our eyes need to focus and converge well to keep print single and clear while reading.   Our eyes need to track efficiently across the page to keep our place while reading.  We need to have good spatial skills and visual motor skills to copy what we see on the board.   Visualization and visual memory are essential for remembering what we read. 

Problems with eye coordination, tracking, and vision processing can be successfully treated with optometric vision therapy.  After completing vision therapy, many patients have fewer headaches, better grades, and better confidence!  Unfortunately, many teachers and parents don’t know how much vision therapy could help their children!

August is National Vision and Learning month.  Help raise awareness of vision related learning problems and vision therapy by contacting your governor to proclaim August is vision and learning month in your state! 

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