VISION AND LEARNING
IN SCHOOL, 75 TO 90 PERCENT OF WHAT WE LEARN INVOLVES our visual system. About 25 percent of students struggle with their visual skills such as eye teaming, eye focusing, eye tracking and visual information processing. In the technological world that we live in now there is a high demand for us to use our visual skills. In addition, children and adults diagnosed with learning disabilities often, about 75 percent, have deficiencies with their visual skills. Vision is one of the most complex processes used in learning, therefore it is very important to have a comprehensive eye exam every year and, if there are symptoms and/or signs of visual skill deficits, seek further evaluation by a developmental optometrist.
People with learning related visual problems have to be assessed for more than just their refractive error (ex. nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism) and their ocular health. There are 3 related areas in the visual functions. 1. Visual acuity, refraction and ocular health. This is evaluated in a comprehensive eye exam. 2. Visual efficiency. A person’s eye teaming, eye focusing and eye tracking skills. This is usually evaluated in a visual efficiency exam (VEE) by a developmental optometrist. 3. Visual information processing. This is the cognitive aspect of our visual skills. Some of these skills are figure-ground, spatial awareness, visual memory and visual-motor integration. These are evaluated in a visual perception evaluation (VEP) by a developmental optometrist.
At Exceptional Vision Therapy and Learning Center (EVTLC) we provide developmental eye exams that evaluate both a person’s visual efficiency and visual information skills. We can also perform comprehensive eye exam next door at Exceptional Vision. Our goal at EVTLC is to alleviate the symptoms and signs so a person can concentrate on learning and not the visual discomfort they are experiencing. We can help alleviate these symptoms by using lenses, prisms and/or vision therapy. With these tools we focus on improving and remediating a person’s visual efficiency and visual information processing.
Often you see people with reading difficulties have co-existing visual and language processing deficits. The best way to approach these deficiencies is in a multi-disciplinary approach to address their needs. Children who exhibit visual skill deficiencies begin to have problems when they begin school. They may have reading, mathematics, writing, spelling, comprehension, sports, playground and/or social difficulties. Unresolved visual deficiencies can cause people an inability to respond fully to their educational needs.
These are a few of the signs and symptoms you may see when someone has a visual skill deficit:
- Complains of blurred vision;
- Rubs eyes frequently;
- Squints; Closes or covers one eye;
- Occasionally sees double;
- Able to read for only a short time;
- Poor reading comprehension or Eye coordination problems.
Numerous research and studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of vision therapy. Vision therapy is not only for children, adults can also benefit from vision therapy. You don’t “outgrow” visual skill deficiencies. Often time’s people are labeled dyslexic or attention deficit before having their visual skills evaluated for a possible contributing factor to their learning disability. Post-traumatic brain injury patients can also exhibit these visual skill deficiencies. These deficits can be remediated with vision therapy to aid people overcome and best manage these learning disabilities.