DOES MY CHILD NEED TO HAVE AN EYE EXAM?

This is the number one question that I receive from parents. The answer is YES, by 6 months old, and yearly thereafter. The reason is because 80% of the information taken in while reading and writing is through the visual system, so vision problems can interfere significantly with learning. Early vision problems can also delay development in areas such as eye hand and eye body coordination which affect walking, reaching, crawling, and balance for infants and toddlers.

The vision exam needs to evaluate more than the need for glasses and eye health. Developmental or Behavioral Optometrists, such as myself, evaluate for age-appropriate visual motor and visual perceptual skills that affect learning and sports. Visual motor skills that important to learning include eye tracking, teaming and focusing. Visual Perceptual skills include visual memory, visual sequential memory, visual closure, and visual motor integration.

I did a post-doctorate Fellowship in Developmental Optometry or Pediatric Optometry, and serve as a consultant to over 40 schools in Los Angeles. I evaluated my own son at 6 months old, and often play games with him to develop his visual motor and visual perceptual skills since vision is the dominant sense and extremely important to learning and sports.

Author
Dr. Elise Brisco

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