For Teachers & Parents: How do I screen for Learning-related Vision Problems?

Learning-related vision problems are not detectable by a school vision screening and can be overlooked during a typical and limited eye examination.

Teachers are often the first ones to observe an undetected vision problem in children because you see them under the conditions of prolonged visual demands in the classroom. Vision problems can affect children in different ways. An over-achieving student with a vision problem may have to work twice as hard as a child with a strong visual system. On the contrary, a struggling student with an undetected vision problem may misbehave to avoid visual discomfort when reading or doing schoolwork.

Research shows that children diagnosed with ADHD, Dyslexia, Developmental Delays, or Learning Problems have a higher incidence of learning-related vision problems. It is recommended that any child who is struggling in school have a thorough vision evaluation.
Early detection can save years of struggling.

A typical student is engaged in learning through vision 80% of the school day and will exhibit some common symptoms if they have learning-related vision difficulties. Some common symptoms are the following:

Appearance of the eyes:

  • Eyes crossed or turning in, out or moving independently of each other
  • Red, watering eyes, or encrusted eyelids

Behavioral Indicators:

  • Dislike or avoidance of close work
  • Short attention span
  • Using finger or marker when reading
  • Difficulty completing assignments on time
  • Difficulty remembering what was read
  • Reversals of letters or words

Complaints associated with usage of the eyes:

  • Headaches, nausea and dizziness
  • Blurring of the vision
  • Burning or itching eyes

To assist teachers in the pre-screening and early detection of learning-related vision problems, a pre-screening form is provided.

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