Is Your Child Ready for School?

Is Your Child Ready for School? in Olympia

American Family Vision Clinic

What are the visual demands of a classroom?

 

There are many visual demands in the classroom because so much of a student’s performance depends on their vision skills which can actually be strengthened and developed when necessary. Some of these visual abilities are explained as follows: 

Eye tracking - this is necessary for visually monitoring what’s going on in the classroom environment which helps with maintaining attention and good behavior. The six muscles surrounding the eyes must be working properly together to allow for different kinds of smooth eye movements.

A student with undeveloped eye tracking:

  • Has a hard time following a teacher who is using objects and gestures to explain something 
  • Tends to lose their place when reading
  • Has a hard time catching a ball
  • Has difficulty with making smooth transitions and shifting attention

Focusing - it’s important to develop the ability to focus at different distances and to be able to smoothly adjust the focus from one distance to another. When a baby is born his or her entire world is extremely close up, mainly the distance between the baby and the mother. As the baby grows up, his world expands and he is required to look at various distances. Being able to focus at different distances is very important in the classroom because a student must be able to focus on the board which is usually at a distance and then to be able to take notes in their notebook which is at a much closer distance than the board is at and the demand to shift their gaze at different distances is constantly required in the classroom.

Binocular teaming - this is a skill that represents how well the eyes are coordinated with each other. It translates as depth perception which helps prevent clumsiness and bumping into things. If there’s a lack of binocularity then it can show up in a student’s behavior as he can have a hard time maintaining concentration and interest in reading. A highly motivated student will push himself to overcome this obstacle, but then will complain about headaches, discomfort, fatigue and blurry/ double vision. 

Other very important visual skills for school performance include:

  • eye-hand coordination
  • visual perception
  • visual memory
  • central and peripheral vision
  • fine and gross visual-motor skills
  • Convergence
What is vision therapy?

What is vision therapy?

Vision therapy is a series of sessions in-office, which usually include at home exercise as well. The child works with a professional vision therapist doing various activities and exercises which train the eyes to work together properly as a team and strengthens the communication that the eyes have with the brain. This yields effective results as a child’s visual skills can constantly be developed and strengthened. When a child no longer has the visual obstacles which would make school performance challenging, he or she can then thrive with their peers.

Common Questions

There are many signs or symptoms that may indicate that your child might have a vision problem that could impact their learning ability, some might include, Frequent squinting or covering one eye, Complaints about eyes “feeling tired” , , Frequent rubbing of the eyes, Trouble focusing or paying attention, especially for extended periods of time, Complaints of blurred or double vision, Regular headaches or discomfort, especially when doing close visual tasks, Difficulty visualizing or recalling things based on something that was read, Sloppy drawing or writing of their name.
Neuro Optometric Rehabilitation, Neuro Optometric Rehabilitation, Developmental & Pediatric Optometry, Low Vision, Specialty Contact Lenses & Myopia Management, Ocular Disease, Dry Eye.
Is Your Child Ready for School?
Dr. Zurcher cartoon

Summary

It is important to make sure that your child’s visual system is properly developed in preparation for starting school, as approximately 80% of the information that we process is visual.

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Testimonials


  • Such a nice optician. My grandson is only 4 and needs glasses. We were so sad, but he explained the issues, and we will follow up as he suggested.


    Anna P.

  • I had such a good experience with the clinic. Very friendly staff and doctor, did not have to wait for long to be called, and was treated respectfully. Thanks, American Family.


    June S.

  • Dr. Zurcher has gone above and beyond what any other eye doctor has ever done to figure out what is going on with my eyes. Very happy with American Family Vision.


    Christine R.

  • Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.


    Lars Wulff

  • Very professional, yet kind and helpful. They do what they can to make the appointment comfortable. I was running a bit late, I made sure ti call. They were able to switch me with a patient who was already there, they treated me with respect, and helped my son have confidence by getting him the eye care he needed that day. Thank you so much! Would recommend to anyone. It's a blessing that they care enough to work with people who have all different types of insurance from work to state coverage.


    Justin E.

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Monday-Thursday
8:30AM-5:00PM

Friday
8:30AM-3:00PM

Saturday-Sunday
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Location
400 Yauger Way SW. Bldg 1, Ste A Olympia, WA 98502
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