Children’s Vision & Learning Month

Children’s Vision & Learning Month

August is Children’s Vision and Learning Month, for the 20th year in a row! The goal of this month is to help educate parents and educators about the critical link between vision and learning. 

This year, the College of Optometrists in Vision Development is focusing on the link between concussions and visual-learning symptoms. The story of Kelsey Ransom is a perfect example of this link:

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How Vision Therapy can Improve Saccadic Eye Movements and Help Reading Problems

How Vision Therapy can Improve Saccadic Eye Movements and Help Reading Problems

What are saccadic eye movements?

Saccadic eye movements are very fast jumps from one eye position to another. These are the eye movements used in reading or searching. This scanning of the visual field is learned during the first years of life, developing as a child explores their environment. In fact, saccades are the very first eye movements that develop!

How saccadic deficiencies affect reading

These eye movements are critical to success and speed of reading. If they do not develop well, it can result in the opposite effect: slow, frustrated reading. When learning to read the eyes must be able to align and track together (or form saccades) letter-by-letter, word-by-word, and line-by-line. Errors can be made when the eyes lose their place and have to backtrack (leading to re-reading and slow reading). Or instead of moving smoothly they skip around (leading to 'words moving on a page' or loss of place when reading and/or misreading words like 'saw' instead of 'was'). When errors like these happen frequently, so much effort is put into trying to coordinate the eyes that reading comprehension declines dramatically.

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Convergence Insufficiency, Not a Learning Disability

Convergence Insufficiency, Not a Learning Disability

More than half of patients that are enrolled in a Vision Therapy program with me have a vergence (which means eye coordination) problem.

The most common type of vergence problem is called convergence insufficiency. Convergence insufficiency can lead to reading difficulties including seeing double, getting fatigued quickly, feeling like your eyes are not working together, and headaches.

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Catching Eye Problems Early: The a-b-See Campaign

Catching Eye Problems Early: The a-b-See Campaign

Here is a statistic for you:
1 in 5 kids have a vision disorder

Many kids with vision problems just assume their poor vision is normal, because they've never experienced anything different. If these vision problems are not checked, they can cause serious long-term effects.

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