Seeing is a more complicated process than we usually think. A good vision test includes sharpness of sight near and far; an ability to aim and focus the eyes properly (especially for near vision tasks such as reading and computers); the ability to sustain focus for long periods of time (for reading and computers); tracking eye movements (for reading fluency and accuracy); processing of the visual information each eye takes in; and health of the eyes inside and out.
Eyesight assessments involve seeing an eye chart on the wall.
Having 20/20 eyesight does not guarantee a person will be able to read well. This is particularly true for children.
Vision assessments through behavioural optometry also help identify those with eye motor control problems, lazy eyes, developmental delays, acquired brain injuries, concussion, delays in learning to read, or problems learning to read.
It’s important to remember that vision isn’t just identifying letters at a distance; effective vision includes aiming and moving the aims, plus rapid and accurate focusing. Reading requires the efficiency of these visual functions, while writing needs these coordinated with other sensory systems.
A child may experience difficulty learning to read and write due to a vision problem, not necessarily due to a lack of intelligence. Behavioural Optometry involves an assessment of the development of visual abilities and processing, and possible vision therapy to develop skills to age-appropriate levels so the child can achieve their potential.
Behavioural Optometry aims to
- reduce the development of vision problems and eye problems
- provide remediation or rehabilitation for vision or eye problems that have already arisen
- develop and optimize the visual skills needed to achieve more effective visual performance in the classroom, on the sports field and in recreational pursuits.
The value of consulting an Accredited Fellow of ACBO for your child’s vision cannot be underestimated.