As you list all the books and school supplies that your child needs for the upcoming school year, remember to add “eye exams”! If your child’s visual skills are not developed to the level needed for hours of intense close-up work, they will have a hard time keeping up in the classroom.
Why wait until your kid falls behind in school? Book back-to-school eye exams before your young students need to hit the books! Our kids’ eye doctor for St. Louis and all surrounding neighborhoods, including Bridgeton, Maryland Heights, St. Ann, Olivette, and University City, encourages all parents to recognize the essential role visual skills play in learning.
Why isn’t school vision screening good enough?
Parents often ask us why they need to visit our St. Louis and St. Charles office for an eye exam when the school nurse does vision testing every year. The answer is as basic as the ABC’s – the typical school vision screening does not detect the type of vision problems that interfere with reading and writing. Visual acuity testing done in elementary school focuses on diagnosing nearsightedness.
Your child will be asked to read a standard eye chart posted at a specific distance away, one eye at a time. As long as the student has 20/20 (or close to it) distance sight, he or she will do fine with this test. However, there could still be a vision problem with focusing, convergence, tracking, or visual processing. When our St. Louis kids eye doctor performs a comprehensive back-to-school eye exam, we evaluate for all of these conditions.
How can I spot the signs of a vision-related learning problem?
A variety of visual skills is necessary for kids to master reading, writing, math, and coordinated performance on the sports field. Often, a child struggles in the classroom and is misdiagnosed with a learning disorder, when really vision is to blame. How can you tell if your child has a vision-related learning problem? All of the following behaviors are potential red flags:
- Inability to recall what was just read
- Skipping or re-reading lines
- Taking excessive amounts of time to do homework
- Headaches in school
- Eye rubbing
- Reversing letters or words, or substituting words with similar words
- Avoidance of reading
- Disruptive behavior in the classroom
How can our eye doctor treat these vision problems?
When eyeglasses or contact lenses are not sufficient to correct a pediatric vision condition, our St. Louis eye doctor may recommend vision therapy. Vision therapy involves working with your child by implementing a series of custom-designed exercises to strengthen visual skills.
If your child suffers from a lazy eye, we may also prescribe an eye patch or specialized eyeglasses to reinforce the deficient eye. Vision therapy is highly successful at helping kids of all ages to overcome many ocular obstacles that interfere with learning. And the sooner treatment begins, the more efficient it is – which underscores the need for back-to-school eye exams.
Don’t wait for the school bell to ring! Avoid the end of summer vacation rush, and call now to reserve an appointment with our St. Louis kids eye doctor, serving Bridgeton, Maryland Heights, St. Ann, Olivette, and University City.