Toys to LOVE (and an excuse to go to Target)

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, the Vision Learning Center will receive some compensation. When my son was born late 2014, I told myself I wasn’t going to buy him too many toys.  Well, I that resolve went to the wind as soon as… Continue reading Toys to LOVE (and an excuse to go to Target)

Why does my child need glasses? They see 20/20!

AdorbsWhy did the optometrist give my child glasses?  They see 20/20?!?!?  I get this questions often.  Most of us associate glasses with a refractive error in need of correction  This is the most common use of lenses–they are correct a refractive error and protect the eye.  We also use tinted lenses on a regular basis for sun protection or occupational protection.

But lenses are not just for sun protection or clarity.  Lenses change the way the brain interprets visual information, therefore changing the way we perceive the world.  I often prescribe lenses not to enhance clarity (although I do that all the time also), but to bring balance to a visual system.

I can prescribe yoked prism to help with body organization, spatial awareness and central/peripheral integration in autistic patients or patients with acquired brain injuries.   I can prescribe lenses for near-point work only in an attempt to prevent undue stress on the visual system.  School (especially these days) requires hours of prolonged near work, which is stressful for our visual systems.  Preventing headaches, eye strain and visual frustration can have a profound effect on a patient’s willingness to do school work.  These are especially useful for graduate students who are doing hours of studying, reading and close work.

P.S.–Isn’t that frame totally #adorbs?  Thanks Europa Eye Wear!




Teachers can help identify serious vision issues! Checklist below!


Many teachers suspect that some of their students have vision problems, but is there a way they can know for sure?

Teachers are in a unique position to observe children at work and play. This is important because children seldom complain about vision problems. To these children, the world has always looked distorted or blurred. Or they have always skipped words or lines while reading. They say, “It’s always been this way.”

These children can’t see through another’s eyes, so they have no “normal” vision to compare with their own. And since they often avoid uncomfortable visual tasks, they seem to be symptom free. Yet, children do reveal learning-related vision problems in their behavior. One of the most common is a child who fails no matter hard he tries. In fact, increased effort actually interferes further with a child’s ability to take in and use his visual information.

Providing appropriate vision care for children does not cure learning problems, but it does provide a solid foundation of visual abilities that a learning team can build upon.

Here is a checklist parents and teachers can use to “screen” students for learning-related vision problems. If more than one or two signs are checked, a complete behavioral optometric evaluation is in order.

  • Headaches in forehead or temples when studying
  • When reading, head (instead of eyes) turns to follow lines of print across the page
  • Requires a finger or marker to keep place while reading
  • Displays short attention span while reading or copying
  • Repeatedly omits small words while reading
  • Orients drawings poorly on page
  • Extreme tilting of head while working at desk
  • Must touch things to assist if any interpretation is required
  • Writes crookedly, poorly spaced; cannot stay on ruled lines
  • Repeatedly confuses left-right directions
  • Confuses the same word in the same (or next) sentence
  • Unable to describe what has just been read
  • Whispers to self (subvocalization) for reinforcement while reading silently
  • Comprehension declines as reading continues; loses interest too quickly
  • Makes errors in copying from chalkboard to notebook
  • Makes errors in copying from reference book to notebook


What happened when school started? Why did my child develop vision problems in 3rd grade?

A major research project found that in grade one, 30.7% of children failed one or more tests of vision abilities needed to do well in school.  By third grade, 58.3% failed. By fifth grade, 71.4% were found to be deficient in some of their vision skills.  Why do so many problems with vision become evident… Continue reading What happened when school started? Why did my child develop vision problems in 3rd grade?