Symptoms Of A Vision Problem

SO WHAT DO ALL THESE SYMPTOMS MEAN? Well there can be several meanings to the behavior you are observing. Several symptoms overlap and combine but here is a chart to help you figure out what might actually be going on, why your child is behaving like he is.

EYE MOVEMENT CONTROL

WHAT WE SEE WHAT WE MIGHT THINK WHAT'S HAPPENING IF IT'S REALLY AN EYE MOVEMENT CONTROL PROBLEM
Loses place when reading; skips words or lines Not paying attention: rushing, not trying Your child's eyes may be jumping over words or even whole lines so they lose their place.
Reads slowly; re-reads lines or phrases Not bright: can't decode well When your child's eyes jump around and skip over words the text makes no sense. They may have to reread the text
Has poor reading comprehension Not bright: not interested. When a child is skipping lines reading comprehension will likely decrease.
Avoids reading not a "book" person This can be a clever adaptation. If you don't read you don't have the problem.
Writing with bad spacing, doesn't stay on the line, writes uphill or downhill sloppy, not trying When a child's eyes are "jerky" their writing may reflect that.
Can't hit a baseball Uncoordinated: not good at sports If the child's eyes can't track a moving target then he won't be able to follow a pitched ball.

EYE TEAMING

WHAT WE SEE WHAT WE MIGHT THINK WHAT IS HAPPENING IF IT'S REALLY AN EYE TEAMING PROBLEM
Rests head on arm while writing; turns paper to extreme angle when writing; sits in awkward position. Tired; personal preference When the two eyes do not align correctly (they are not both looking at the same spot) the child may have figured out an adaptation to eliminate blurry or double vision. If only one eye is doing the seeing the alignment problem disappears. But now they are only getting information from one eye which is less effective.
Covers one eye when reading or writing, tilts or turns head to one side excessively Goofing around same as above
Buries head in a book Likes the book If the eyes over converge when trying to align,the child will see things smaller than they actually are. The only way to make the text larger and more easy to read is to bring the page closer to the eyes.
Complains of being tired after reading or writing for a short time Whining personality; doesn't get enough sleep If the child is struggling to keep the eyes aligned he will expend extra energy and effort to realign the eyes with every eye movement and quickly tire
Has poor reading comprehension Needs more practice When the text blurs a child may see the ending letters of one word shift into the next word. In the same way, when the eyes go out of alignment, the child may miss words while the eyes are trying to realign. All these obstacles make reading comprehension a challenge.
Doesn't stay focused when reading or writing. Attention deficit problems Often a change of focus is a quick fix for an eye teaming problem. If the child looks out the window or off into space the text may not shift or be blurry when he continues reading.
Avoids reading Personality preference He has found a way to eliminate the problem of blurry or double vision---don't do it.
Has poor handwriting; uneven spacing Rushes through work; doesn't care Poor handwriting may be due to the child's distorted visual input.

FOCUSING

WHAT WE SEE WHAT WE MIGHT THINK WHAT'S HAPPENING IF IT'S REALLY A FOCUS PROBLEM
Takes a long time to copy off the board Not paying attention; distracted The focusing shift from far to near should happen within one second. If it takes a child longer than that the child may be slow copying from the board
Complains of being tired when copying from the board Complainer; just doesn't want to do the work. The child with poor focusing skills has to work harder to shift focus continually and soon fatigues from doing so.
Starts out correctly but then makes errors Careless; not paying attention; not trying At first the child can use extra effort to switch focus from far to near but cannot sustain this level of focus and begins to make errors
Makes mistakes when copying, even at the beginning Careless Some children are so distracted by the need to concentrate on regaining focus after each shift and suffering with blurred vision until the focusing becomes clear, the child is likely to make mistakes.
Makes mistakes when copying from a book; does not copy corrections in doing a final draft Careless Same as above

LATERALITY AND DIRECTIONALITY

WHAT WE SEE WHAT WE MIGHT THINK WHAT'S HAPPENING IF IT'S REALLY A LATERALITY AND DIRECTIONALITY PROBLEM
Reverses letters and numbers Not paying attention Children have to understand their own laterality before they can "see" the direction of a specific letter or letters, such as b,d, p, q, 5, 2, was, saw
Writes many letters from the bottom up such as l, e, f sloppy handwriting same as above
Is inconsistent in following directions about where to write or draw on the page, such as upper right hand corner Not paying attention A child with poor laterality skills may not know left from right but has a 50 - 50 chance of getting it right. Sometimes he is right and sometimes he is not.
Gets lost in stores, around neighborhood Not bright; not paying attention A child who cannot visualize directions in space will often get lost or turned around
Skips over words when reading Not paying attention When a child has difficulty crossing their own midline the eyes might actually "hop" instead of smoothly crossing the visual line when reading; it is this "hop" that might cause problems.

EYE-HAND COORDINATION

WHAT WE SEE WHAT WE MIGHT THINK WHAT'S HAPPENING IF IT'S REALLY AN EYE-HAND COORDINATION PROBLEM
Illegible work sloppy; rushed through work; doesn't care; not trying Children with poor eye-hand coordination cannot get their hands to make what their eyes see
Does not write on the lines of the paper; lines go uphill or downhill sloppy; rushed through work; doesn't care; not trying The child may see the line, but not be able to keep the words on it when writing. The inability to stay on the lines might also be to poor eye movement control or poor eye teaming.
Poorly spaced work sloppy; rushed through work; doesn't care; not trying The child may understand the idea but not be able to produce it. Other visual problems may also be involved such as eye movement control
slow to copy from the board or copy sentences at desk daydreaming; short attention span The child needs additional concentration just to write the letters or numbers and this extra concentration can slow him down.
Hates writing personality preference Because writing is so slow and time consuming for the child they might have negative emotions associated with it
Has trouble with math Needs more practice with basic math facts The child will find it hard to line the numbers up in math problems which results in incorrect answers
Has trouble catching a ball or playing sports uncoordinated; personality preference If the eyes and hands are not working together it will be difficult to catch a ball or hit a ball with a bat. The child's hands are not working with his eyes. It could also be an eye teaming, or eye movement problem as well as depth perception issues.