• One out of four children struggles with reading and learning due to undiagnosed vision problems.
  • It is estimated that over 60% of problem learners have undiagnosed vision problems.
  • 80% of learning in the classroom is visual.
  • The majority of the vision problems that interfere with reading and learning are very treatable.
  • Seeing clearly (“20/20”) is just one of the 17 visual skills that are critical to academic success.

The American Federation of Teachers acknowledges the vital role that vision plays in our children’s education in that, “Even the most gifted students will struggle academically if they have trouble seeing the blackboard or focusing on a book. A tremendous amount of learning happens visually, so proper vision care is crucial to helping students reach their full potential.”

According to the National PTA, “It is estimated that more than ten million children suffer from vision problems” that may cause them to fail in school. Vision screenings in school and at the pediatrician’s office usually only test a child’s distance vision. Most people think that 20/20 is “perfect vision,” when in fact 20/20 is simply a measurement of what someone is able to see at a distance of 20 feet. Most of our learning is through reading, which is not at 20 feet at all!

There are over 15 visual skills required for reading and learning, including the ability to point the eyes together, focus the eyes, and move across the page properly. These skills often go untested in most vision screenings. Passing a vision screening which tests only distance vision leads parents to believe that nothing is wrong. If any of these 17 visual skills are not working properly, it can make reading and learning an unnecessary challenge.

Some children develop behavior problems, while others avoid reading or simply refuse to read. Usually, the child is bright, causing parents to be confused by the child’s difficulties. Oftentimes, the child is labeled hyperactive, lazy, or slow. What makes this even worse is that many of these problems can easily be mistaken as learning disabilities or attention problems such as ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). If your child struggles with reading or learning, call our office to schedule an appointment today.

Vital Visual Skills

1 Eye Movement Control 
The ability to move both eyes together to point at an intended target or follow along a path, like a line of text

2 Simultaneous Focus at Far
Forming a clear image of something in the distance

3 Sustaining Focus at Far
Keeping an image of something in the distance clear

4 Simultaneous Focus at Near
Forming a clear image of something close to the eyes

5 Sustaining Focus at Near
Keeping a clear image of something close to the eyes

6 Simultaneous Alignment at Far
Lining up both eyes at the same point the distance

7 Sustaining Alignment at Far
Holding both eyes lined up at the same point in the distance

8 Simultaneous Alignment at Near
Lining up both eyes at the same point up close

9 Sustaining Alignment at Near
Holding both eyes lined up at the same point up close

10 Central Vision (Visual Acuity)
This is where “20/20” vision comes in!

11 Peripheral Vision
Being able to see what’s on either side of you while your eyes are pointed forward

12 Depth Awareness
Being able to tell that things are further away or closer up than each other (also know as depth perception)

13 Color Perception
Being able to tell different colors apart (if you are not color-blind)

14 Gross Visual-Motor
Moving yourself through space without bumping into things by using information from your vision

15 Fine Visual-Motor
Writing, sewing, texting, and doing other small and close-up activities with accuracy by using information from your vision

16 Visual Perception
Being aware of your environment and what is going on around you in your visual field (the area you can see)

17 Visual Integration
Bringing together your vision and your other senses to accomplish complex tasks, like reading while walking a balance beam