Your Child's Vision
Dyslexia is not caused by vision problems, but good vision is important to reading development. One in five preschool-aged children has a vision disorder. Many common vision problems are preventable if detected in early childhood. According to the College of Optometrists in Vision Development, problems in any of the following areas can have a significant impact on learning:
Eye tracking skills (eyes staying on target, i.e., following a line of print)
Eye teaming skills (two eyes working together as a synchronized team)
Binocular vision (simultaneously blending the images from both eyes into one image)
Accommodation (eye focusing)
Visual-motor integration (i.e., eye-hand coordination, sports vision, etc.)
Visual perception (visual memory, visual form perception, visualization, directionality)
Your child can be evaluated for possible vision problems well before she reaches school age. As a parent, you should suspect a vision issue if you observe any of the following symptoms:
One eye drifts or aims in a different direction than the other.
Your child tilts or turns her head to see.
Your child's head is frequently tilted to one side or one shoulder is noticeably higher.
Your child squints or closes or covers one eye.
Your child seems to have a short attention span for her age.
Your child has poor hand-eye coordination for activities like playing with a ball.
Your child avoids coloring, working with puzzles, and other detailed activities.
It is a good idea to arrange a thorough optometric examination for your child by age three to determine whether his vision is developing normally, whether or not you suspect a specific problem. If you are concerned about your child's vision development, it is best to arrange an appointment with a board-certified developmental optometrist who specializes in evaluating and correcting these types of vision problems.