Vision is a crucial developmental process that occurs when we are infants and young children. As such, undetected problems can impact a child's visual development resulting in difficulties in areas of academics, athletics and future occupations.
The American Optometric Association, The College of Optometry in Vision Development, and others, recommend children have their first eye examination at age six months and if no visual deficits are detected, again at age three. These are mostly objective, observational exams that evaluate a child's visual developmental stage. Early detection and treatment of any deficits can help avert a lifetime of difficulties.
Pre-school exams are also recommended about age 5-6 to assure that a child has attained development of the visual skills we know are important factors in learning. These include the obvious, like clear vision, but also the more subtle skills such as good eye coordination, scanning and tracking, and the ability to easily and efficiently change focus within a classroom environment. Visual-motor testing assures the child has the ability to process and copy written information. Visual Processing is also a crucial function within the visual system. It concerns how well the brain makes sense of the visual information it receives and how well it integrates it with other senses. These can all adversely impact a child's ability to learn and, obviously, this testing is more involved than a regular vision screening.
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