Vision Care for Children and Teens

Vision Care for Children & Teens in Annapolis & Glen Burnie, MD & Washington, DC

The classroom and various extracurricular activities demand a lot from your child’s visual system. Your child needs to have developed appropriate visual skills prior to entering school in order to succeed in such an environment. Many children struggle academically simply because their visual systems are not sufficiently developed to cope with the demand of reading and writing tasks. Development of the necessary visual skills should take place during the preschool years.

Parents’ Guide for Detecting Vision Problems

Observations of your child in school and at home are very important in order to determine whether your child has an undiagnosed vision problem. Children with learning-related vision problems rarely report symptoms because they simply assume that everyone sees things the same way they do. The following is a list of signs and symptoms that may indicate that your child has a vision problem:

Appearance of Eyes

  • One eye turns in or out at any time
  • Reddened eyes or lids
  • Eyes tear excessively
  • Frequent styes on eyelids

Complaints when Using Eyes at Desk

  • Headaches concentrated in the forehead or temple area
  • Burning or itchy eyes after reading
  • Print blurs after reading a short time
  • Complaints of seeing double
  • Words move or ‘swim’ on the page

Behavioral Signs of Visual Problems

  1. Eye Movements
  • Head turns as reading across the page
  • Loses place frequently during reading
  • Needs finger or marker to keep place
  • Short attention span in reading or copying
  • Frequently omits words
  • Writes up or downhill on the page
  • Rereads or skips lines unknowingly
  • Orients drawings poorly on the page

  1. Eye Teaming Abilities
  • Repeats letters within words
  • Omits letters, numbers or phrases
  • Misaligns digits in number columns
  • Squints, closes or covers one eye
  • Tilts head significantly when working at a table
  • Odd working posture for table activities

  1. Eye-Hand Coordination
  • Avoidance of near-centered work
  • Poor handwriting
  • Difficulty copying from chalkboard

Secondary Symptoms

  • Low self-esteem
  • Short attention span
  • Fatigue, frustration, stress
  • Day-dreaming
  • Smart in most things except school

May Be Labeled As:

  • Lazy
  • Dyslexic
  • Attention deficit disorder
  • Slow learner
  • Behavioral problems
  • Works below potential

If you notice any of the signs or symptoms described above, a developmental vision evaluation is recommended. Not all vision evaluations are the same. A developmental vision evaluation will assess all of the visual skills that are developed following birth.

The evaluation will assess your child’s ability to:

  • Fixate
  • Follow
  • Focus
  • Coordinate their two eyes
  • Assess eye-hand coordination
  • Assess visual perceptual skills necessary for learning:
    • Visual discrimination
    • Visual recall
    • Visualization
    • Visual thinking
    • Visual logic
    • Visual-spatial knowledge

This comprehensive evaluation typically takes two hours to complete. It can help you uncover undetected visual problems that may be causing your child’s struggles in the classroom.

Recommended Reading:

  • “Attention and Memory Training” by Dr. Ray Gottleib
  • “The Mind’s Eye” by Dr. Deborah Zelinsky

You can find these books available for purchase here.