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Assessing a child’s acuity is the first step in helping a child learn. Having 20/20 acuity simply means that a child can see the tiny letters across the room for as long as it takes to read the eye chart. Acuity is tested at eye screenings. An optometrist or an ophthalmologist tests acuity and health at an eye examination. While 20/20 acuity is important, it is not enough.

Once a child’s acuity is addressed, we must evaluate the child’s visual function, visual perception, eye-hand coordination and visual imagery. Functional vision (accommodation, eye teaming and eye movement) is the ocular skill set necessary for a child to see a clear and single object at varying distances while moving from point to point or word to word when reading. Visual perception is the ability to understand information as the eyes see it. Eye-hand coordination is the eyes’ ability to guide your hand. Visual imagery is the ability to see pictures in your mind.

All of these skills are necessary in a classroom for keeping words clear on paper and on the board, keeping words from running together or pulling apart, judging depth, locating words when reading, guiding a pencil when writing, and recognizing what is seen and remembering what is seen. SIGHTvt is the only office in the area that evaluates and treats functional, perceptual, motor-based visual skills.

Vision therapy is physical therapy for your eyes. Our goal is to correct these conditions, not teach you to adapt to them. The book When Your Child Struggles, The Myths of 20/20 Vision, written by Dr. David Cook, is a great resource for understanding how your eyes need to function to learn.

Click here for an outline on the seven key steps to visual learning based on his book.