How You Can Tell If Your Child Needs Vision Therapy
It’s natural for parents to want to ensure their children have the best possible start in life. However, vision therapy is one aspect of pediatric care that is often overlooked. Many parents don’t know how to tell if their child needs vision therapy, but some warning signs can help you.
Vision therapy is a treatment used to improve a person’s vision, which has been inhibited due to various problems or conditions. It augments essential visual skills and capabilities, which develops a person’s ability to see better, feel more comfortable, and handle information easier.
1. Difficulty in Reading
Knowing what to do cannot be easy if your child struggles with reading or schoolwork. After all, you want your child to succeed, but you may not be sure how to support them best. Luckily, you can do a few key things to help your child catch up. First, make sure they are getting plenty of practice reading at home. You can take turns reading aloud, visit the library together, or even read during breakfast or before bed. In addition, try to help them understand and organize their schoolwork. This may involve sitting down with them and going over assignments step-by-step, breaking down tasks into smaller chunks, or setting up a regular study schedule. Finally, talk to their teacher about what your child is struggling with and how you can best support them at home.
2. Do They Avoid Close Work
Many people experience eye fatigue after spending a long period looking at a screen. The American Optometric Association lists several symptoms of computer vision syndrome, or CVS, which include eyestrain, headaches, and blurry vision. According to the AOA, CVS is caused by how our eyes focus on close objects for extended periods. This can happen when working on the computer, reading a book, or even using our phones. To help relieve symptoms of CVS, the AOA recommends taking breaks every 20 minutes to look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. They also suggest using artificial tears to lubricate your eyes and adjusting the lighting and position of your screen.
3. The trouble with Hand-Eye Coordination Activities
If your child is having difficulty with hand-eye coordination activities, you can do a few things to help. One is to encourage them to keep practicing. It may be frustrating at first, but with enough persistence, they will eventually get the hang of it. Another option is to provide them with a visual guide. For example, you could draw a target on their shirt if they have trouble catching a ball. This will help them to focus their attention better and improve their aim. Finally, you may want to consider investing in some occupational therapy exercises. These can be specifically designed to help improve hand-eye coordination and other fine motor skills.
4. Difficulty in Switching Tasks
If your child is having trouble with task switching, it could be due to ADHD or another attention deficit. When children with ADHD are asked to switch tasks, they often have difficulty processing the new information and may become overwhelmed. As a result, they may start to shut down or tune out completely. One way to help your child with task switching is to provide them with a clear structure and routine. This could involve setting up a specific work area at home, establishing regular study times, and helping them make a list of tasks to complete. You can also talk to their teacher about ways to help them stay focused in class.
5. Excessive Redness or Swelling in the Eyes
If you notice that your child’s eyes are excessively red or swollen, it could be a sign of allergic conjunctivitis. Allergic conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin membrane covering the white part of the eye. An allergy usually causes by something in the environment, such as pollen, dust, or animal dander. Symptoms include itchiness, redness, and watering eyes. If your child has allergic conjunctivitis, they may also have hay fever symptoms, such as a runny nose or sneezing. Treatment involves avoiding the allergens that trigger the condition and using over-the-counter antihistamines or artificial tears. You may need to consult an allergist or ophthalmologist if the symptoms are severe.
Amblyopia, or lazy eye, is a condition in which one eye has poor vision. It is usually caused by the brain favoring one eye during development. As a result, the unused eye becomes weaker, and the muscles around it may start to sag. Amblyopia can be treated with eyeglasses, contact lenses, patches, or surgery. If you think your child may have amblyopia, you should take them to an ophthalmologist for an evaluation.
If you think your child may benefit from vision therapy, don’t hesitate to reach out for a consultation. Vision therapy has helped many children improve their reading skills, handwriting, and academic performance. With the help of an experienced vision therapist, your child can overcome any difficulties they are experiencing in school and start enjoying learning again!