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Vision & Learning

Children who are under achieving at school, and often diagnosed as dyslexic or dyspraxic, frequently have a hidden vision problem that prevent them from reaching their true academic potential in the classroom.

Many will have had a routine eye test which mainly tests for distance vision clarity and does not look in any detail or understanding at the visual processes taking place in the child patient with learning difficulties or, indeed, in the adult with eye strain in the office or one who still does not enjoy reading or sports.

Once a routine eye test has determined that there is not a sight or clarity problem, vision is ruled out as a contributing factor in the learning difficulties and an opportunity is missed to give vital help to the child.

Reading, writing and spelling are all fundamental visual tasks and therefore the correct management of vision must be the first area that should be looked at when there are learning problems.

The main visual skills needed for learning are:

Fixation:

Aiming the eyes or shifting rapidly from one object to another (reading from word to word).

Tracking:

Following moving objects smoothly and accurately (keeping your place when on a line; catching a ball).

Binocular Vision:

Seeing with both eyes and combining information received through each eye to make one mental picture. Using one eye and mentally shutting off the other is suppression.

Convergence:

Turning the eyes toward each other to look at near objects (words at reading distance) and maintaining eye alignment comfortably and efficiently over time (attention span).

Stereopsis:

Determining relative distances between objects by looking at them from two different places (the two eyes) simultaneously.

Field of Vision:

The area over which vision is possible, including motion, relative position of objects in space, contrast and movement sensitivity in side vision (reading from line to line without getting lost on the page).

Form Perception:

Organising and recognising visual sensations as shapes, noticing like and differences (the difference between “was and saw”, “that and what”,” 21 and 12″, “e and o”etc.).