The Annual Back-to-School Check-up

The new school year represents an opportunity for each student to excel with a renewed interest. The problem is that each student is not on equal ground. Failure can come as quickly as the first test scores slap the student in the face as a reminder of his or her own inadequacies. The student might have difficulties with learning through their eyes or have difficulties communicating the information they have learned. This is a two-prong problem. First the problem needs to be identified. Second proactive therapies need to be developed to bring the student up to speed. The educational paradigm demands adequate processing through the student’s eyes with the proper responses demonstrated through communication. The problem that faces the parents is how to identify these sensory inadequacies prior to having deteriorated schoolwork. Understanding the symptoms, methodology and therapies must be fully appreciated in order for the parent to seek out the proper remediation.

To do well visually in school, a student needs two things. First, he needs good visual skills such as accommodation (eye focusing), convergence (eyes working in unison), binocularity (eyes working together as a team), and oculomotor control (eye tracking). These skills help the student perceive and process visual information. Second, he needs good central processing skills, tested by perceptual and developmental skills.

The remediation consists of a team approach teaching the student the perceptual skills that did not develop normally. These students are taught writing and spacing on the page, however students with perceptual weakness usually do not learn by conventional methods. Techniques and procedures are designed to systematically teach the weak skills step by step for effective learning and integration. Students with perceptual difficulties may have disorders that are a result of a failure in grouping data or matching sensory data with past experiences. These students require more trials for learning and are generally less successful. The key is that students with perceptual difficulties require a movement-based therapy preceding or concomitant with academic help. Opening the channels of communication by sensory training, developing the responsive function of the student through skilled movement, and integrating all the sense modalities through rhythmic movement will develop the solid foundation that is essential for the educational team. Davis EyeCare has a vision training specialist on staff that will help develop your child’s visual skills to adequately perform in a school setting. These skills will help your child to learn how to read so they can read to learn.