Studies have shown that nearly half of the children who struggle to read and learn in school complain of vision-related issues. In a recently published article in the journal Optometry and Vision Science, one study found that among 90 kindergartners and 91 first graders from a middle-class, suburban school in Cleveland, Ohio, visual performance was significantly related to reading performance. Uncorrected eye problems can affect their academic achievements. If students have a poor eyesight issue, they tend to concentrate less in terms of their academics which could also result in disruptive activities due to lack of ability to engage in classroom activities.
Causes of vision impairment or low vision:
Vision impairment can be caused by a number of things such as genetic conditions, damage to the pathways connecting the eye to the brain or to the visual center of the brain via injury to the eye, side effects from illness, effects from premature birth, etc. All reasons and probability of injury considered, vision impairment is something to take seriously to help you or your student get the assistance needed to excel in the classroom. Don’t let poor vision obstruct success.
Signs and symptoms of low vision:
Being a parent or guardian, or perhaps a student yourself, you need to pay extra attention to the overall health of your or your child’s eyesight. If you or your child has any of these symptoms, please don’t take them lightly and make an appointment with our incredible staff for a comprehensive eye exam for effective precautions.
The symptoms are as follows:
- Difficulty in holding things up close to his or her face
- Rub eyes a lot
- Turn or tilt their head or cover one eye when looking at things up closely get tired after looking at things up closely – for example, reading, drawing or playing handheld games
- Seem to see better during the day than at night
- When they complain about tired eyes
- Seem to have misaligned eyes or a squint
- Seem clumsy – for example, they might knock things over or trip often, perhaps depth perception seems a tad off.
- Poor grades
- Inattentive during instruction time in the classroom
- Behavior issues related to lack of engagement during learning experiences or tasks that require the ability to read or focus on printed materials from near or afar.
How low vision affects grades of the students?
If a child has a low vision, he or she will find it difficult to get access to information presented from a distance in the classroom. As your child moves through the elementary grades, the size of the print in your child’s textbooks may get smaller, while the amount of reading and writing he/she is expected to do increases as well, along with the expectation to read for comprehension. Depending on the setting or situation, he/she may need to utilize different reading methods or different tools to keep up with his assigned classwork. For this reason, it’s important to review how your child is performing in their various literacy tasks continually and as a parent/guardian it’s important to make sure a learning media assessment is conducted every year. Poor eyesight effects the students in the following ways:
- Difficulty in communication – for example, your child might not see someone waving and smiling at him or not be able to make eye contact
- Having problems in playing socializing with others due to feelings of academic inadequacy.
- Difficulty in learning names of the context
- Difficulty in learning to read and write
- Inability to read for comprehension- this is a big one that can create gaps in learning and keeping your child behind in most academics.
How to help the children in classroom to cope up with vision impairment?
Let the student select a seat where he/she sees best. Place a student as close to the board as practicality allows. Teachers can reduce glare from windows and lights, as much as possible.
(Low vision students are usually slow readers because of the visual impairment.) Standardized tests that require separate answer sheets may be especially difficult for a student to use. You need to check modifications to see what procedure to use with the help of doctors.
Concrete steps need to be taken by both teachers as well as parents in ensuring that their children are not missing on anything because of low vision. Low vision is not a disability, it is just a disorder that can be controlled in due course with appropriate care.