Vision for Infants (0-24 months)
The ability to see is formed over a period of time, much like the way infants learn to walk, sit or speak. If a vision problem is present from the beginning, the brain starts to accept that problem as the normal way and accommodates the pattern. There are certain signs that a parent should watch out for which may indicate vision problems.
Vision for Pre-school Children (2-5 years)
Children at this age will be fine-tuning the visual abilities that they gained during infancy and developing new ones. They are developing the visually-guided eye-hand-body coordination, fine motor skills and visual perceptual abilities necessary to learn to read and write. Around 10% of children have vision problems at this stage which is why parents need to be alert to identify vision problems.
Some signs that suggest vision troubles are:
- Squinting and head tilting
- Frequent rubbing of eyes
- Short attention span
- Eye turned inside or outside
- Avoidance of visually detailed activities such as coloring or painting
- Less co-ordination between eye and body during games or holding books too close or sitting too close to the TV
Vision for School Going Children (6-18 years)
Roughly speaking, 80% of a child’s learning is visual based. As children progress in school, they face increasing demands on their visual abilities and a problem with their vision could translate into problems in academic progress and sports participation.
The visual skills that a child of this age needs to possess are:
- Visual acuity – seeing clearly at all distances.
- Eye focusing – quickly adjust vision as distances between objects change.
- Eye tracking – tracking your eyes from one object to another.
- Eye teaming – ability to use and coordinate both eyes.
- Eye-hand coordination – using visual cues to direct limb movement.
- Visual perception – ability to organize images into recognizable objects, letters, numbers etc.
The Signs of Vision Problems in Children of This Age are Manifested Through Symptoms like:
- Rubbing eyes or blinking frequently.
- Short attention span.
- Avoidance of reading.
- Frequent headaches and eye pain.
- Covering one eye and tilting of head.
- Holding materials too close to face.
- Double vision.
- Difficulty reading and remembering what was read.