Very often, a teacher will request a specialized, more specific type of eye examination. This is usually because the teacher, or reading specialist, realizes that despite the child's skills, he is not progressing in his learning development as expected.

 

This is where my old phrase comes into play;

"Your child sees fine."

 

That’s what the people doing the vision screening at her school said.

 

Even the Ophthalmologist at the Kuppah agreed.

 

But….

 

Why does she have such trouble doing her homework?

 

Why does she hate reading?

 

She does “OK” in school… but could she be doing even better?

 

There are many times when a child has perfect vision in each eye for distance as well as reading but everyone can tell that there is still a problem.

 

The eyes need to make incredibly precise movements at incredibly high speeds in order for us to accomplish the simplest visual tasks. Beside the ability to track an object or follow along a straight line of text the eyes need to work as a very fine-tuned team in order to see what the brain asks of them.

 

Tracking (Eye-Motor Skills)

There are two different types of eye movements. Pursuits are the skill needed to make smooth following motions necessary for activities such as sports and simple observations of the surrounding environment. The eye movements necessary for reading are called Saccades. Saccadic eye movements are short, precise, extremely fast jumps that are performed during the reading activity. Any imprecision in Saccdic movements will result in mixed-up reading, reversals and the skipping of lines.

 

Convergence / Divergence

The act of reading at close and at computer distance demands the need for muscle contractions in order to converge or bring the eyes together in order for both eyes to view the object as single and to be able to view it with depth perception.Any deficit in this skill could result in poor quality reading achievement, headaches and even double-vision. An inability to release this convergence effort can result in a complaint of distance blur when seeing the board even when there is no need for glasses!

 

The Functional Vision Assessment is an evaluation of these and other ocular skills that could be the cause of failure to progress in educational development. Treatment of deficits of this type can range from specialized glasses with prism to bifocals or multifocals or to 

© 2013 Dr. Chanoch Schwartz, O.D.

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