behavioural optometry

Visual Skills

Visual skills required for learning include:

Attention to visual detail—A child may not take enough time to analyse what they see, or even need to touch things to “see” them. An impulsive child often has difficulty with this skill.

Direction concepts—These need to be accurate and automatic. As children start to relate to the “sidedness: of their body (left-right awareness), they can use this understanding to discriminate between ‘b’ and ‘d’, ’81’ and ‘18’. They can also remember sequences. Directionality can be trained in children who have a deficit in this area.

Visual analysis skills—Sometimes called Form Perception. A child needs to be able to make judgements of size, shape, position and distance. To reproduce shapes, the child needs to analyse them, remember them and then copy them.

Eye-hand co-ordination—The ability to team eyes and hands is important in the classroom and for sports. The ability to visually plan and perform a task is also important.

Eye movement control—The child needs to be able to follow moving objects smoothly, accurately and effortlessly.

Eye focus skills—Is it easy for the child to change focus from near objects to distance objects and back again? Can the child look at near objects for lengthy periods of time without fatigue or losing focus? Some children will pull a book very close, to make the print appear larger. Others will avoid close-up work because it is too uncomfortable.

Eye teaming skills—How well do the eyes work together? If they team well, the child has accurate clear information from both eyes, without fatigue.