Important Visual Skills For Your Child to Have

Little boy standing in front of eye chart

Vital Visual Skills Every Child Needs

Vision plays a crucial role in every aspect of your child's life. Good vision is essential for reading, writing, memory, playing sports, balance, coordination, and forming social connections. If these seven key visual skills aren't well developed, your child may face issues that make it unnecessarily difficult to succeed academically and socially.

Visual Acuity

Visual acuity refers to the ability to see clearly. If your child can't see the letters on an eye chart or the classroom whiteboard clearly, he or she may have a problem that affects acuity. Myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness) are common causes of visual acuity issues in children. Fortunately, eyeglasses or contacts can make seeing clearly much easier.

Eye Teaming

Your child's vision can suffer if their eyes don't work together as a team. If one eye sends very different information to the brain as a result of an eye teaming problem, the world might begin to look a little blurry. Double vision, eyestrain, and headaches can also be caused by eye teaming issues.

Strabismus, commonly called "crossed" eyes, is a common cause of eye teaming problems. Although the condition usually develops by age 3, it may also affect older children, according to the American Optometric Association. Even very slight alignment issues can cause problems with vision. Vision therapy gradually improves alignment and eye teaming.

Visual Memory

The brain process the images it receives from the eyes and moves them into your child's short and long-term memory. Good visual memory is essential for remembering a paragraph you just read, recognizing words and letters, recalling names, and reading body language cues correctly. Poor visual memory can also affect your child's sports ability. It's hard to know where to pass the ball if you can't remember the locations of the players on your team.

At home, memory matching games or games that involve copying or remembering shapes or words can help your child improve their visual memory. If problems are severe, vision therapy can help improve visual memory.

Tracking

Tracking refers to the ability to follow an object or words with your eyes. Symptoms of a tracking problem include losing your place when reading, skipping words, a short attention span, or using a finger to follow along with the words.

Good tracking skills make it easier to kick a ball accurately or determine where it will land. Fortunately, tracking is a skill that can be improved with games and activities designed to help kids follow words or moving objects.

Eye Focusing

The lens of your eye constantly changes shape, which makes it easy for you to see the words on a page one second and view the trees in the distance clearly the next.

If your child has a focusing issue, they may complain of blurry vision, eye pain, headaches, and fatigue. Improving focusing skills can make a huge difference in your child's life and may even help them enjoy school more.

Hand-Eye Coordination

Is your child clumsy and uncoordinated? Before vision therapy was offered, most people assumed that hand-eye coordination issues were just something they had to live with. Today, we know that's just not true. In fact, hand-eye coordination can be improved in both children and adults simply by strengthening the eye-brain connection with vision therapy.

Visual Perception

Even children who have 20/20 vision can struggle to read and write if they have poor visual perception skills. Good visual perception skills make it easier for the brain to process and make sense of the information it receives from the eyes. With poor visual perception, your child may not notice fine details that differentiate one letter or number from another, which makes it difficult to complete math problems or get a good grade on a spelling or reading test.

Is school difficult for your child? An issue with their visual skills could be to blame. Fortunately, vision therapy offers a simple, effective way to improve and enhance these crucial skills. Get in touch with our office to schedule an appointment now.

Sources:

Science Direct: Visual Memories

American Optometric Association: School-Aged Vision: 6 to 18 Years of Age

All About Vision: Vision Therapy for Children

American Optometric Association: Strabismus

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