Teacher’s Guide to Vision

Approximately 80 percent of learning is done through vision, and 60 percent of students who are identified as having a “learning difficulty” have vision problems that are undetected.

Teacher’s Guide to Vision in Olympia

 

American Family Vision Clinic

In many cases, students that appear to be showing signs of learning disabilities are actually suffering from a vision problem. It is estimated that more than 10 million school age children in the United States suffer from vision problems that can impair their learning capabilities.

For educators, who play a vital role in the success of their students, it is important to be able to correctly recognize any problems that might impact their students’ ability to learn so they can be addressed.

Important Things for Teachers to Know About Students’ Vision

In order to properly recognize vision problems among their students, a teacher needs to know just how linked vision and learning are.

Approximately 80 percent of learning is done through vision, and 60 percent of students who are identified as having a “learning difficulty” have vision problems that are undetected.

Just because a child can read the eye chart in an on-school vision screening does not mean they have perfect vision. In fact, some of the most crucial aspects of learning and academic performance, including reading, require good near vision, which those screenings do not test for.

Important Things for Teachers to Know About Students’ Vision
Take Quiz

Take Quiz

Please fill out the following checklist to reflect your child or student’s experiences which will provide our behavioural optometrist with a better understanding of your possible concerns pertaining to your child or student’s visual abilities. Rate the following symptoms or scenarios on a scale of 0-4 as it most suitably applies to the patient.

0 = never

1 = rarely

2 = sometimes

3 = frequently

4 = always

 

The child or caretaker can fill out the questionnaire. If possible, it is recommended for the child to participate, however having a parent or teacher answer the following questions is also a great option.


never (0)rarely (1)sometimes (2)frequently (3)always (4)
Do you have a hard time gauging distance accurately?
Do you avoid reading or work that requires material to be up close?
Do you get headaches from work that is close up?
Do you experience motion sickness?
Do you not enjoy sports or find that you have inconsistent performance when participating in sports?
Do you notice that you have to sit close to the computer to see?
never (0)rarely (1)sometimes (2)frequently (3)always (4)
Do you skip or repeat lines?
Do you see double or blurry?
Do you feel exhausted?
Do you tilt your head or close an eye?
Do you skip small print when reading?
Do you have difficulty with reading comprehension?
Do you read very close up?
Do you find that it is hard to pay attention when reading?
Do you notice that you need to use your finger or something else to keep your place?
Is it easier if you close one eye?
Do you have better reading comprehension when someone else reads to you?
never (0)rarely (1)sometimes (2)frequently (3)always (4)
Do you find yourself re-reading in order to understand it?
Is it hard to remember what you read?
never (0)rarely (1)sometimes (2)frequently (3)always (4)
Do you confuse or reverse numbers/ letters?
Do you write on an upward or downward slant?
Do you have a hard time writing down answers and you find it easier to answer orally?
never (0)rarely (1)sometimes (2)frequently (3)always (4)
Do you struggle with time management?
Do you say “I can’t do it” before attempting to do so?
Do you bump into things and knock them over?
Do you tend to lose things?
Do you get frustrated often?
Do one or both of your eyes tend to wander in/ out/ up/ down?
never (0)rarely (1)sometimes (2)frequently (3)always (4)
Do you have a hard time with homework overall?
Is it challenging turning in projects on time?
Do you find it difficult to remember things?
Do you have a hard time looking down at your desk to copy notes from a board?
Do you misnumber rows or columns of numbers?
Do you have a hard time in math class?
Do you benefit from extra help?

20-24 points = suspect for binocular vision problem 

> 25 points or more = refer for developmental eye exam

 

If a child has multiple symptoms or any symptom that occurs always, the child should be assessed by our developmental optometrist. If you are unsure whether the symptoms require a developmental eye exam, please complete this form and our Certified Optometric Vision Therapist will assess the results and contact you with a recommendation of the next steps to take. 

Take Quiz

Do Not Rely on In-School Vision Screenings

In addition to the limitation mentioned above, there are other reasons not to rely on these vision screenings. They are not true diagnostic exams, and will not identify many vision problems, such as issues with eye focusing, eye tracking, and depth perception. They are also not usually carried out by eye care professionals.

Vision screenings provide less than 4% of the information generated during a comprehensive eye exam and miss up to 75% of children with vision problems. (American Optometric Association)

Only proper eye exams by a developmental optometrist can be relied on to determine whether or not a child has vision issues which may affect their learning capabilities.

What Should Teachers Be Looking For?

There are many signs that can signify that one of your students might be experiencing vision difficulties. These include:

  • Sprinting eyes
  • Blurry or double vision
  • Difficulty spelling
  • Difficulty with reading comprehension and reading in general
  • Frequent rubbing of the eyes
  • Frequent head tilting, or covering of one eye
  • Regular headaches
  • Holding reading material very close to their face, or using a finger to mark their place
  • Issues with focus or concentration
Important Things for Teachers to Know About Students’ Vision
Dr. Zurcher cartoon

Another Way to Help Your Students

Teachers already help their students in many ways. Being able to correctly identify when a learning issue might be vision related is just one more way you can help them achieve their full potential in the classroom. Teachers may be in the best position to detect a child’s learning-related vision problems. Learn how to identify them so students can correct them and excel in the classroom.

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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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