INFORMATION FOR - General Public
General vision information for teachers

Eighty Percent of what a child learns is acquired through the visual system. Perceptual, learning and behavioural problems are often traced to vision problems. Such problems may also create barriers to childhood play and social development. It is extremely important that vision problems be detected as early in a child’s school career as possible.

Vision screenings performed in the school are not eye exams and can miss serious vision problems. The following check-list will assist classroom teachers and aides in identifying those children in their care who have vision problems. Teachers should encourage parents to have their child’s eyes and visual system examined by an optometrist.

Observable Clues to Classroom Vision Problems

1. APPEARANCE OF THE EYES
  • one eye turns in or out at any time
  • reddened eyes or eye-lids
  • eyes tear excessively
  • blinks excessively
2. COMPLAINS
  • of headaches in forehead or temples
  • of burning or itching eyes after reading or desk work
  • of blurring print after reading a short time
3. BEHAVIOURAL SIGNS OF VISUAL PROBLEMS

a) Eye Movement Abilities (Ocular Motility)
  • loses place often during reading
  • needs finger or marker to keep place
  • displays a short attention span when reading or copying
  • frequently omits words
  • rereads or skips lines unknowingly
b) Eye Teaming Abilities (Binocularity)
  • complains of seeing double (diplopia)
  • squints, closes or covers one eye
  • tilts head extremely while working at desk
c) Eye-hand Coordination Abilities
  • writes crookedly, poorly spaced, cannot stay on ruled lines
  • misaligns both horizontal and vertical series of numbers
  • repeatedly confuses left/right directions
d) Visual Form Perception (visual comparison, visual imagery, visualization)
  • mistakes words with same or similar beginnings
  • fails to recognize same word in next sentence
  • reverses letters and/or words when writing or copying
  • Repeatedly confuses similar word beginnings and endings
e) Refractive Status (Nearsightedness, farsightedness, Focus problems, etc)
  • holds book too closely
  • drops head too close to desk surface
  • complains of discomfort when reading or looking at chalkboard
  • works slowly, makes errors when copying from board to paper
  • squints to see board, or asks to move nearer
  • rubs eyes during or after short periods of visual activity
Check list courtesy of Optometric Extension Foundation, Santa Ana, California, U.S.A