As parents, it’s near-impossible to know everything that’s happening during your child’s school day. Are they being given every tool they need to learn properly? Are they attending to their lessons? Are they getting the extra help they need because of a learning disability?
Thankfully, in addition to talking to them and their teachers, there are other ways to piece together the puzzle that is their educational experience. Below, learn how to figure out if your child is struggling in school because of vision issues, what the next steps might be, and how you can help remedy the problems.
What are Some Common Issues to Look Out for?
Even if your kids haven’t reached the age when they answer, “How was your day?” with one-word responses, it can still be a challenge to get information about how their schooling is going. Doctor Joshua Watt of Impact Vision Therapy in Colorado Springs says that one of the signs parents should keep an eye on is headaches. “If they’re complaining Monday through Friday of headaches, then Saturday and Sunday they don’t get headaches, we can generally assume that there’s probably a visual component to that.” Similarly, if your child comes home consistently exhausted, that could indicate the same kind of visual stress. “Their brain is working twice as hard to understand the information it’s taking in.”
Another problem that Dr. Watt recommends watching for is reading issues. If your child isn’t reading at grade level, struggles to copy things down from the board properly, or is constantly distracted to the point they can’t read more than a few words or sentences without getting sidetracked, these are all signs that they could have tracking issues, visual processing problems, or a convergence disorder.
What’s the Next Step?
If you’ve determined that your child is struggling in school due to potential vision issues, Dr. Watt says he and his team will typically run a more in-depth visual exam, which goes beyond an annual eye exam.
“If there are some significant concerns in addition to the child’s symptoms, we move on to visual perceptual testing, which examines how the brain processes the information it takes in. Sometimes it’s a visual functional issue and sometimes it’s a visual perceptual issue, and sometimes it’s both. You can have very good visual skills, but your brain may not be able to efficiently or accurately understand what it’s looking at,” he says
Dr. Watt explains that once they discover the root of the issue, he will meet with parents and the patient about how they can work together to fix things. That can mean vision therapy or specialized glasses.
What Can Parents Do to Solve Visual Issues?
No parent wants to see their child struggle, so one of the biggest tips that Dr. Watt offers is to get regular eye exams. The schedule that’s recommended is at six months old to a year, 3 years old, 5 years old, and every year in school. “That’s one of the biggest mistakes: we don’t get eye exams until someone complains about something. The hard part with that, though, is that if that person has seen one way their entire life, how do they know if something is wrong?” He stresses that having a baseline helps the optometrist identify potential bigger issues before they become a problem.
Dr. Watt and the professionals at Impact Vision Therapy offer comprehensive vision evaluations to help determine your visual issues and map out therapy solutions unique to your eyes. They are friendly and interested in helping you and your family. Whatever the case, they’ll get to the heart of the problem and guide you towards a solution that will have you seeing your best in no time. Check out their incredible testimonies at ImpactVisionTherapy.com and give them a call at (719) 302-8922 to schedule your evaluation.