Do Children With Vision Problems Do Worse In School?

We all love our children and would do anything to see them happy and successful. But did you know that children with vision problems often get lower grades and have behavioral problems? Sight plays such an important role in the learning experience that even minor vision problems can result in big problems. Something as simple as sitting near the back of the classroom can lead to a child tuning out and becoming frustrated, jealous and resentful at those who are learning from the lessons they can see at the front of the room.

Learning Is a Visual Experience

Experts estimate that 80% of the learning experience is visual. children with vision problems often feel helpless and may lash out in the classroom as a result of anxiety and frustration. This can often result in parents punishing children for bad grades whenever it isn’t the child’s fault.

Children must read books, work on computers, and interact with their classmates in the playground. Children with vision problems may find it difficult to pay attention, and in many cases, they may be too young to tell you about these problems.

Dr. Barry Leonard, a children’s Optometrist in the valley, says that “Whenever I hear a parent talk about his or her child not doing well in school, I ask them to bring their child in for an eye exam, and I almost always find vision issues that are easily correctable. Kids ought to have every advantage when they go to school: pencils, paper, books, computers, a great teacher and good vision.”

Despite this, 50% of parents don’t schedule regular visits with their children’s eye doctor. And vision screening tests performed by school nurses only detect vision problems 5% of the time. It’s important for parents to schedule yearly eye exams for their children, especially if the child has poor grades or behavior problems.

Vision Problems Share Similar Symptoms with Behavioral Problems

Undiagnosed vision problems often exhibit many of the same symptoms that are associated with behavioral problems such as ADHD, speech problems, and dyslexia. If left undiagnosed, this can impact your child’s ability to learn.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions if your child’s teacher brings up the topic of low grades and potential behavior problems. See if the teacher can recall them experiencing any of these symptoms:

  • Squinting
  • Holding objects close to the face
  • Frequently losing attention while reading
  • Nausea
  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Clumsiness
  • Tilting of the head
  • Daydreaming
  • Eye rubbing
  • Using a finger as a placeholder while reading

While symptoms like a lack of attention, daydreaming, and clumsiness may seem like behavioral problems, they may just be undiagnosed vision problems.

Could A Simple Eye Exam Prevent  A Lifetime Of Trouble For Your Child?

The link between vision problems, learning deficiencies and bad behavior are very strong — so strong that a simple eye exam could help your child avoid trouble with the law. Dr. Kristy Remick conducted a study at the San Bernardino Juvenile Hall for 15 years and found that the residents there had a much higher incidence of vision problems than found in the general population.

A program that included vision correction helped to reduce repeat offenses by inmates from 90 percent down to 15 percent. It stands to reason that correcting your child’s vision early in life can have a similar effect on first time offenses. More practically speaking, catching and correcting vision problems early can help to increase the odds of success in school and career.

Early Detection Is the Key For Children With Vision Problems

Your child’s low grades and behavioral problems may be linked to vision problems. Fixing your child’s vision problems may be as simple as taking an eye exam and getting a new pair of glasses. Early detection is key to improving your child’s grades, behavior and quality of life.

Dr. Barry Leonard & Associates offers eye exams for children and a variety of stylish glasses and eyewear. We’ve been helping children in and around the San Fernando Valley for over 60 years. If you believe your child is suffering from vision problems, contact our team today at 818-405-9788 to schedule them for an eye exam.

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