Good vision is essential in childhood development and regular eye examinations are the key to good vision.
Research has shown that one in five school children have an undetected eye problem. As 80% of a child’s learning occurs visually, many children cannot see well enough to reach their full potential or enjoy everyday childhood activities as much as they could.
A child may not realise if their vision is not clear – they assume the way they see is normal. Therefore regular eye examinations are advised for all children under the age of 16 at least once a year.
Typical warning signs to look out for:
- One eye turns in, out, up or down
- Complaints of frequent headaches
- Frequently rubs eyes or blinks a lot
- Screws up eyes when reading or watching television
- Avoids reading, writing or drawing
- Has difficulty catching a ball
- Fails to make expected progress at school
- Develops behavioural or concentration problems at school
Children should have their first eye examination by the age of four, sooner if any problems are suspected. The earlier a problem is detected, the more effectively it can be treated.
It doesn’t matter if your child is too young to talk or read a letter chart, as we use a range of techniques and modern equipment to detect visual problems at any age.
Such equipment used is a computerised test chart which allows us to use pictures, numbers, shapes as well as letters to check the child’s vision.
Francis Opticians provide free NHS eye tests for all children under 16 and those under 19 and in full time education. If a child is found to need spectacles, a contribution is provided by the NHS.
At Francis Opticians , we stock a wide range of spectacles specially designed for children’s faces to choose from. Many have soft nose pads for extra comfort and sprung hinges to withstand extra wear and tear. So remember, regular eye examinations could be crucial for your child’s health care and personal development, so don’t delay and contact Francis Opticians for an appointment as soon as possible.
Children’s Development Profiles
Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia, Global Developmental Delay Syndrome, Premature Baby, Autism (Autistic Spectrum Disorder), Turrets Syndrome, ADHD, ADD, Sensory Disorders, Glu Ear, Convergence Insufficiency, Retention of Primitive Reflexes, Accommodation(focus) Dysfunction, Binocular Vision Problems, Eye Tracking problems, Pattern Glare or Meares Irlen Syndrome.
Above are words with which many Parents, Special Needs Teachers and Tutors are familiar with, and which have a great impact on the ability of children to learn, in a rapidly advancing information world. The content of what is being learned, and the various ways in which it is delivered, is becoming more and more taxing on the brain and visual systems of children, and in many cases, adults also. Francis Opticians Optometrists perform a vital role in performing eye tests and in depth visual assessments in order to ease the burden with these children’s development profiles.
The profiles listed above (and many more) are involved with learning disabilities either individually or in combination.
Occupational Therapists, Nutritional Therapists and Vision Care Specialists can play an important role in getting the best development in children.
Gross Motor Skills (physical movements), Fine Motor Skills (eye movements during higher processing order), are all connected to a child’s visual skills, eye tracking, focus, convergence and working memory, as these are all important aspects of investigation. Perceptional analysis tests are generally performed by Educational Psychologists. Children also need to have developed proper Proprioceptive Skills (proprioception), which relates to their awareness in space.
Visual Spatial Awareness and Visual Spatial Integration are part of the early learning skills, which children require to make the transition into the later stages of more sophisticated learning. Along with this, comes Sensory Integration and therefore normal physical development is a key factor.
Other important factors are the setup of the learning environment especially in the classrooms and other learning institutions.
Sport (at any level) is a fantastic way for children to develop stronger muscles to give good body posture and support for all the integration skills required in learning.