When you have a bright child who doesn’t achieve to his or her potential we often affectionately call them underachievers, because we know they are capable of achieving so much more. While they may be able to get by with what they learn by listening, reading can be quite a struggle.
A clear sign that a vision problem may be at the root of your child’s difficulties is poor performance on written or standardized tests. Over the years I have found that bright underachievers often have vision problems which make reading difficult. Sometimes they are very diligent and able to achieve because they spend significantly more time on homework than it should take.
It may surprise you to learn that many of the children who have vision problems interfering with learning actually have 20/20 eyesight (with or without glasses). That’s because 20/20 eyesight merely means you can see a certain size letter at a distance of 20 feet, whereas vision is a complex process that involves 17 visual skills which are critical to academic success; and seeing 20/20 is just one of those visual skills.
Over 60% of children who struggle with reading and learning have vision problems which are typically 100% correctable, yet when undetected, these children continue to struggle, don’t reach their potential and perform poorly on standardized tests.
In order to determine if your child has a correctable vision problem that is interfering with learning and performance on standardized tests, you need to schedule a visual skills evaluation to test the skills necessary for academic performance, including: eye movement control, focusing near to far, sustaining clear focus, eye teaming ability, depth perception, visual motor integration, and visual information processing skills. Vision Skills Evaluations are typically performed by optometrists who are Fellows in the College of Optometrists in Vision Development.