Vision in the Classroom

School performance is affected by a significant visual issue in 25% of all children.

Vision in the Classroom in Bellflower

Amplify Eyecare of Greater Long Beach

What are the visual demands of a classroom?

Binocular teaming - this is a skill that represents how well the eyes are coordinated with each other. It translates as depth perception which helps prevent clumsiness and bumping into things. If there’s a lack of binocularity then it can show up in a student’s behavior as he can have a hard time maintaining concentration and interest in reading. A highly motivated student will push himself to overcome this obstacle but then will complain about headaches, discomfort, fatigue and blurry/ double vision. Poor binocularity also causes lower performance on timed tests because it takes these students longer to read and to maintain their visual attention.

Focusing - it’s important to develop the ability to focus at different distances and to be able to smoothly adjust the focus from one distance to another. This is very important in the classroom because a student must be able to focus on the board which is usually at a distance and then to be able to take notes in their notebook or on their computer which is at a much closer distance than the board is at and the demand to shift their gaze at different distances is constantly required in the classroom.

Other very important visual skills for school performance include:

  • Eye-hand coordination
  • Visual perception
  • Visual memory
  • Central and peripheral vision
  • Fine and gross visual-motor skills
  • Convergence

There are many visual demands in the classroom because so much of a student’s performance depends on their vision skills which can actually be strengthened and developed when necessary. Some of these visual abilities are explained as follows: 

Eye tracking - this is necessary for visually monitoring what’s going on in the classroom environment which helps with attention behavior. The six muscles surrounding the eyes must be working properly together to allow for different kinds of smooth eye movements.

A student with undeveloped eye tracking:

  • Has a hard time following a teacher who is using objects and gestures to explain something 
  • Tends to lose their place when reading
  • Has a hard time catching a ball
  • Has difficulty with making smooth transitions and shifting attention. 

Convergence Insufficiency in the Classroom

Maybe you have a student like Charlie who is able to read and to complete the task, however it is not obvious that this very same student is exerting at least double the amount of energy in order to read and it’s taking him longer than his classmates. If the student has a hard time focusing both eyes together in sync when looking at a target up close, otherwise known as convergence insufficiency, the task of reading could take a lot more time and energy than it does for his peer who does not have this visual challenge. Even though Charlie is able to read, by the time he gets through a paragraph, he could be drained and frustrated and lose his attention span for other subsequent visual demands.

These types of scenarios are much more common than they might seem and with the proper awareness of potential visual challenges, a teacher can make great improvements for their individual students who are struggling which has a ripple effect that can also benefit the entire class.

Convergence Insufficiency in the Classroom
What are symptoms of a student who could be having visual challenges?

What are symptoms of a student who could be having visual challenges?

General symptoms:

  • Has wandering eye(s) which means that both eyes are not focusing on the same target
  • Struggles with time management
  • Gives up before attempting a task
  • Loses things, demonstrates clumsy tendencies
  • Gets frustrated when doing assignments such as reading or writing
  • Struggles with depth perception
  • Avoids doing work that requires looking at something up close
  • Complains of headaches
  • Does not enjoy sports
  • Sits close to the computer 
What are symptoms of a student who could be having visual challenges?

When reading, your student:

  • Skips or repeats lines
  • Gets drained and exhausted
  • Complains of blurry or double vision
  • Closes one eye
  • Has difficulty with reading comprehension and has better reading comprehension when someone else reads to the student
  • Reads very close up
  • Needs to use a finger or something else to avoid losing the place

Regarding writing, your student:

  • Confuses or reverses numbers/ letters
  • Writes on an upward or downward slant
  • Has a hard time writing down answers and finds it easier to answer orally
  • Has a hard time copying notes from the board

What can I do for my student who appears to be having visual challenges?

The first step is a very important one and that is being aware of the visual demands of a classroom. Understanding that even a child who can see with 20/20 clarity may be struggling with other aspects of their vision and this knowledge can help your students tremendously. 

There is an entire professional field dedicated to helping children develop their visual abilities and that is known as developmental vision care. A developmental optometrist is trained to do a full evaluation of a child’s visual skills and to determine if your student can benefit from treatment which often involves glasses and/or vision therapy.

Convergence Insufficiency in the Classroom
Dr. Ikeda cartoon

What is vision therapy?

Vision therapy is a series of sessions in-office, which often include at home exercise as well. The child works with a professional vision therapist doing various activities and exercises which train the eyes to work together properly as a team and strengthens the communication that the eyes have with the brain. This yields effective results as a child’s visual skills can constantly be developed and strengthened. When a child no longer has the visual obstacles preventing him or her from being able to keep up with the demands at school, they can finally thrive with their peers.

Testimonials


  • I haven't actually used the optometrist side, so my review is limited to the vision therapy offered.  This office was recommended by my occupational therapist for the treatment of my double vision following a stroke.


    Claire A.

  • Love this location. I had a brain injury accident from day one one. All the team make you feel you still important and hope in the horizon after when the medical system fell you miserably. Dr. Ikeda very professional and very understanding about your issue. Two tombs up.


    Jim K.

  • My husband and I were immediately impressed with Dr Ikeda. I was hit by a car while cycling which caused broken bones and three brain injuries. The brain injuries caused double vision. Dr. Ikeda examined my eyes and got me started on vision therapy with his occupational therapist who specializes in vision therapy.  She (Chris) is absolutely great.  I am impressed with the array of tools used to help recover my binocular vision.  I am doing things I never thought were possible (balance boards etc).  Chris pushes me and keeps me motivated. I really enjoy my sessions with her.  The office staff is always friendly and they have a wonderful appointment reminder tool that makes it easy to keep my calendar up to date. I am happy the rehab center at Little Co. of Mary recommended them!!


    Teresa S.

  • The Vision Therapy is handled in a separate office through a different door from the shared waiting room. Chris, the vision therapist, has a wide and varied assortment of tools, equipment and resources to best evaluate and treat most vision issues. After just a few visits, my double vision became easier to control, using exercises developed during the therapy process. It was time well-spent.


    Joe M.

  • I have been coming here since I can remember. I love it here. The staff is so amazing and nice. They explain everything they gonna do and never make you feel rushed. Dr. Ikeda has always been my doctor and I would never want another one. He is the doctor for my whole family and is always asking how everyone is doing. I am also so crazy about picking out my frames and have to try so many and each person who helps me take the time and lets me try them all on. I would never want to go anywhere else! I definitely would recommend this office to anyone looking for a great eye doctor.


    Kayla W.

Blog

Lighting-Assessment---Intensity-1

Lighting as Part of A Low Vision Evaluation

A low vision evaluation is in some ways similar to a regular eye exam, and in other ways entirely different. […]

Read More
josh-applegate-p_KJvKVsH14-unsplash

Can ADD/ADHD be a Vision Problem?

According to a study, approximately 20% of 4.5 million children currently identified as having ADHD may have been misdiagnosed. Furthermore […]

Read More
pexels-monstera-6186146

Are all magnifiers the same? The difference in optics between handheld magnifiers

Hand magnifiers are hand-held devices that can be placed over an object or text to enlarge or magnify what you […]

Read More
see all blogs

Contact Us To Amplify Your EyeCare

Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach Logo

Working Hours

Monday & Wednesday
9:00AM–6:00PM

Tuesday & Thursday
8:00AM–5:00PM

Saturday
By appointment only

Friday & Sunday
Closed

 

 

Location
16816 Clark Ave, Bellflower, CA 90706, United States
Fax
(562) 867-8719
Website Accessibility Policy
Safety protocols page
privacy policy
Cancellation Policy
For Patients
appointment
Call Us
Referrals
Assessments
For Patients
appointment
Call Us
Referrals
Assessments
eyefile-adduserphone-handsetcalendar-fullarrow-uparrow-right linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram