A large part of learning is done visually. Reading, spelling, writing and computer work are tackled all day, every day at school. Each task requires sustained visual attention at a close distance (30-40cm).
As vision and learning are intimately connected, a vision problem can sometimes be mistaken for a learning problem.
The whole brain is involved with vision and integrated with all other senses. Two thirds of our brain pathways is taken up by vision.
School vision screenings routinely check children’s sharpness of vision at distance–measured by the 6/6 line on the eye chart–and refer children for glasses if they have blurry far-away vision and can’t see the board from the back of the room. Unfortunately, this is all school vision screenings are designed to check, yet a child’s vision involves so much more.
Many parents do not realise that their child’s struggles in the classroom are in no way linked to their intelligence or how hard they are trying. Instead many children are not able to visually process the information put before them.
Eye tracking - both eyes working together following a line of print
Eye teaming - both eyes working together to converge at near and far
Visual perception - includes visual memory, visualisation, directionality and sequencing
Accommodation - eyes focusing
Binocular Vision - simultaneously blending images from both eyes into one image