Around 80% of what children routinely learn in school is visual. Warning signs for vision problems may be difficult to spot for teachers, and a parent may often misunderstand the issue as a behavioral or physical disorder.
Here are some of the subtle signs to look out for:
Kicking over furniture and falling is natural for kids. If this happens often with a particular child, it may be a sign of visual difficulty. When children are unable to see clearly, they may exhibit clumsiness such as missing a chair when sitting. As a teacher, you should take note of these instances and inform the parents. Advise them to take the child to an optometrist.
Persistent Poor Academic Performance
The longer a child stays with poor vision, the worse their cognitive issues and behavior can get. Every school year comes with more visual challenges and expectations. The font sizes in their books reduce as the time they spend reading increases. When a child cannot keep up with these demands, the difference in their grades is evident. Your child may be unable to see the visual aids in class or follow the teacher’s gestures.
Constant Inquiry from Other Students
In the classroom, teachers use all forms of visual cues throughout the day. These may include hand movements or facial expressions. A child with vision problems may be missing most of these cues.
The classroom can be a confusing environment for students, and different situations force them to find ways to adapt. Such kids may become hesitant to participate or ask questions frequently. They also may act out or talk to their classmates to divert from their confusion.
Attention Deficit Disorder
In some cases, vision problems can actually be misdiagnosed as ADHD because of the behavioral impacts poor vision can impose on children. Additionally, children that do have ADHD may find it even more difficult to stay focused and pay attention during lessons if vision is also an issue. It is difficult to pay attention when you do not understand what is happening in class.
Holding Reading Material Close to Their Face
Kids are constantly finding new ways of viewing the world or trying to get close to the action. Sometimes, they find bringing words close might make them better readers. The case is different with children with vision problems. They try to see what the others in the class see effortlessly. To a child with poor vision, it is a way of attempting to make sense of what they cannot see.
For grownups, frequent headaches can have several causes. But for kids, it may be a symptom of an underlying issue. The most common signs include resting their heads on a desk all day or constant complaints of headaches. If this happens, the child needs to visit an optometrist.
For more on spotting warning signs of vision problems in the classroom, call Clarke EyeCare Center at our office in Wichita Falls or Burkburnett, Texas by calling (940) 905-0700 or (940) 569-4131 with any questions or to schedule an appointment today.