Visual Problems

from The Diary of a First Grade Teacher

Visual problems can occur at any age, but what if your child is too young to recognize there's a problem?

If your school-aged child appears to be healthy, but is having difficulty in ANY subject area, you should – as a starting point - look for possible physical problems.

A good place to start is by answering this question …

Are you sure you child can SEE properly?

Problem Reading? Problem Writing?

While most first graders learn to read, to write, and to work simple math problems, some children definitely have visual problems ...

And this prevents them from doing their best - and enjoying it!

How can they grow to love learning if there's a problem?

Is she having difficulty in reading?

Is she able to write legibly on lined paper?

Experts have determined that more than 80% of learning is presented visually ...

So what - if anything - can you do if the written word on a page looks like smeared ink blots to your child?

To make sure she can see clearly, you must observe closely ...


What To Look For …

Exactly what do you look for? If your child shows one or more of the following signs - or if she is having problems in school - be sure to make an appointment with a professional right away:

  • Child wants to avoid reading
  • Child has difficulty doing board work at school
  • Child has poor handwriting
  • Child reverses letters and words
  • After reading or completing schoolwork, child complains of eye strain or headache
  • During reading, child complains of blurred vision or double vision
  • Child has difficulty with reading comprehension
  • Child is easily distracted when reading
  • Child loses place, repeats words, and/or omits words while reading
  • Child’s school performance is not what it should be


Vision Affects Learning

Remember, your child can have 20/20 visual acuity and still have visual problems. Here are some other vision-related problems that can affect performance:

  • Can she change her eye focus - from far to near - and back again? This is a primer-level skill that is required in first grade.
  • Visual perceptual skills are needed to identify and to comprehend what is seen.
  • Can she move her eyes across the printed page, from left to right?
  • Do her eyes work together well? For example, for her to be able to read well, her eyes should converge for proper eye alignment.
  • Healthy eyes blend visual images from both eyes into a single, three-dimensional image.
  • Eye-hand coordination plays a huge role in the child learning how to properly read, write, play sports, etc.

It’s important to remember that vision can change - within a year - for better or for worse. While the child’s vision may have been fine in Kindergarten, is she struggling now?

It’s true that a child’s eyes should be FULLY developed by the preteen years, but by that time, it’s too late for certain eye and visual problems to be corrected.

So if there’s any question at all, don’t hesitate to make the appointment for your child to see a professional.

And BE SURE TO ASK THEM to test for near AND far-sightedness!



Return from Visual Problems to What about This?

Return from Visual Problems to Funny-First-Grade-People Home.