Why Can’t My Child Keep Up

Noticing that your child is performing poorly in school isn’t difficult. Figuring out why can be the real mystery. Considering that 80 percent of learning occurs through the processing of visual information, making sure your child is seeing properly should be top priority.

Seeing properly means seeing clearly and comfortably at all times. Even if your child has had a recent eye exam and had a vision correction, he or she could still have a vision problem that is contributing to poor grades or slower learning. Your child could be suffering from a hidden condition which was not detected on a standard eye exam. During a regular eye exam, the eye doctor will check the health of your eyes and how clearly you can see. Among other things, the doctor may also check your eye alignment and focusing ability.

However, the procedures that test these abilities tend to be very brief and do not always pick up how long your eyes can stay focused and aligned. In other words, they don’t measure stamina. This can be compared to how a person feels after carrying a heavy package for a long time. When you first pick up the package, you feel okay. But, the longer you carry it, the more wobbly you become and the more you struggle to keep the package from dropping. How long you last is directly dependent upon how strong your muscles are.

Just like other muscles of your body can fatigue, cramp, and be inflexible, so can the muscles that control focusing, eye alignment, and tracking. When eye muscles become stressed and tire, visual performance drops, causing students to struggle. Since everybody is put together differently and will have different eye muscle strength, the amount of struggle will vary.

In the classroom, struggling may be displayed as loss of place when reading, slower reading, reading errors, poor comprehension, mistakes while copying, lack of interest, inattention, sleepiness, and more. Students with stronger eyes will last longer, concentrate better, and accomplish more than students with weaker.

Article by Dr. David Bloch, OD