The transition from preschool to big school is exactly that…BIG. It is a significant change for the child and the family. It is an achievement to be considered, conquered and celebrated. It is a new beginning for the child and the start of their schooling career.
School readiness is defined frequently and broadly. It is as much to do with the individual as it is to do with the educational institution. Aspects such as social competence, emotional stability, and language and cognitive skills are all pertinent. As Behavioural Optometrists, our concern is for the overall wellbeing of the child and their ability to perform to their potential without the interference of inadequate vision skills.
Here are three facts for you:
1. Optometry Australia stipulates an alarming rate of one in five Aussie kids suffering from an undetected vision skill deficit.
2. Screening only for distance visual acuities may miss approximately 40% of school-age children with potential vision problems that can impede their learning (Bodack, Chung & Krumholtz, 2010).
3. Our last not-so-fun fact for you is this: most vision skill deficiencies become apparent when a child starts school because their learning environment and visual load increases exponentially.
So having your child undergo a comprehensive Behavioural Optometric examination seems to be a wise place to start in ensuring they are ready to begin their school journey.
It is important to be aware that vision skill deficits do not refer to the lack of 20/20 sight. It is more than that. In actual fact, while the eyes do the seeing, the brain does all of the interpreting. When there is a breakdown between eye and brain communication, this is where visual deficiencies come about.
This is where the child can see the book clearly but continues to skip words and lines when reading. This is where the child can read the words on the page to you but has to use so much mental effort in keeping their eyes tracking and focussed that they do not comprehend what it is that they read. Vision skill deficits make homework difficult and keeping up in class a challenge. They make a child that is bright appear to struggle constantly with the school work load.
In order for your child to love school and love to learn, often we need to break down the visual barriers that are holding them back. If you want to learn more about the Smart Vision approach to vision care, click here.
Make sure your child has the vision skill sets necessary for a successful and rewarding school year. Ready, set, go!