The connection between vision and academics is a powerful one that is often overlooked. As a society, we tend to focus on the intellectual abilities of our students, often forgetting that the ability to see clearly is a vital foundation for learning. Vision is more than simply the ability to see clearly, it involves understanding and interpreting what we see. In fact, 80% of what we learn is through visual information.
When we talk about vision, most people immediately think of 20/20 vision. But vision is much more than that. It's a complex process that involves more than just being able to see clearly. Vision involves the eyes, the brain, and the visual pathways that connect them.
Seeing 20/20 means that you can see clearly at 20 feet what should normally be seen at that distance. But just because a person can see clearly at a distance does not mean that their vision is perfect. There are many other aspects of vision that can impact academic success.
For example, eye teaming skills are important for reading and writing. This is the ability of the eyes to work together to focus on a single point. If a student's eyes do not team well, they may struggle with activities such as reading, where the eyes need to move smoothly across the page. Similarly, visual perception skills, which involve the brain's ability to interpret and understand visual information, are critical for academic success.
Reading is a complex process that requires the coordination of various visual skills. Students with vision problems may have difficulty with basic reading skills such as phonics and fluency.
For instance, if a child has difficulty with visual tracking, they may lose their place while reading or skip words or lines. This can make it difficult for them to understand what they're reading and can lead to frustration and a lack of motivation to read.
Similarly, a student with poor visual perception may struggle with comprehension. They may be able to read the words on the page, but they may not understand what they're reading. This is because visual perception involves the brain's ability to interpret and understand visual information.
Vision also plays a crucial role in writing skills. Writing requires the coordination of fine motor skills and visual-motor integration. This means that a child's eyes and hands need to work together seamlessly. If a child has visual-motor integration problems, they may struggle with handwriting and other writing tasks.
For example, a child with poor visual-motor integration may have difficulty with letter formation. They may write their letters backwards or have messy handwriting. This can make it difficult for them to express their thoughts in writing, which can impact their academic success.
Similarly, a child with poor eye teaming may have difficulty copying information from the board or from a book. This can make tasks such as note-taking and test-taking challenging, further impacting their academic performance.
The impact of vision on academic success is profound. Vision problems can make it difficult for a student to succeed in reading and writing, but the effects don't stop there. Vision problems can also make it difficult for a student to pay attention in class, understand visual information such as graphs and diagrams, and even participate in physical education activities.
For example, a student with poor visual tracking may struggle to follow along with a teacher's instructions on the board. This can make it difficult for them to keep up with the class and can lead to poor academic performance.
A student with poor visual perception may struggle to understand visual information. This can make subjects such as math and science particularly challenging, as these subjects often involve graphs, charts, and other visual information.
If your child is struggling academically, it may be worth having their vision checked. An eye exam can identify any vision problems that may be interfering with their academic success. By addressing these issues, you can help to set your child on the path to success.
To learn more on how vision impacts reading, writing and academic success, visit Holistic Vision at our office in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. Call (267) 500-9600 to schedule an appointment today.