Poorly behaved child?
Disruptive child in class?
Does your child have poor concentration at school?
Then read this!
How poor vision can have a serious effect on your child’s education and behaviour.
One of the first questions I ask adult patients who are prescribed reading spectacles is “how much reading do you do?”
An obvious question really, the more reading a patient does, the more important the performance, durability and comfort is.
The most common answer is “I don’t read much anymore because it is too difficult”
This may seem an obvious answer to and obvious question maybe, but if we think about in the context of a child’s vision then it unearths some more serious problems with life affecting consequences.
For children, having good for both distance vision and close vision is critical. During a normal school day, a child will be expected to read from a white board as well as books, do close creative work such as painting, drawing, colouring, using computers and do written tasks. All of this while being able to look around the classroom, see the teacher and see peers clearly.
The reading of facial expressions is as Just as important in learning, as anything on the national curriculum - it develops our social skills and forms who we are and how we behave in millions of different situations.
Even with perfect vision, all of these tasks and the concentration they take, are a huge amount to take in and for the brain to process and make sense of (it’s not easy being a child!) - there is just so much to take in and learn in order for your child to have any chance of achieving their full potential at school and in later life.
So, how exactly does poor vision effect this learning and their behaviour, now and in the future?
It comes down to attention span and the ability to concentrate. If a child cannot see the text clearly in a book, it’s very unlikely they will say they can’t see it. Why? Because what they see is normal to them! If the text looks blurred, difficult and uncomfortable to read – then to them, that’s exactly what it is – its blurred – and they don’t know any different. What’s more – it’s difficult and they find it uncomfortable to try and read – Why would they want to concentrate on something so unpleasant? As adults we wouldn’t would we? I refer back to the answer to my first question - “I don’t read much anymore because it is too difficult” - as adults we can decide what we do or don’t do – children at school can’t -they are there 5 days a week – and those five days are full of tasks they don’t want to do because they can’t do them comfortably!
Is there any wonder they can’t concentrate? why they can’t stay on task? They are still sponges wanting to learn and absorb information -and they are still full of energy! So they do what children do, they entertain themselves! This is considered as misbehaving and being disruptive – But they may not be doing this because they are naughty or predisposed to this type of behaviour, but because they can’t do what they are being asked to do!
This not only effects their education and learning progress, but also how they are seen by those around them. If a child constantly lacks concentration and disrupts a class, they will be seen by their peers as a trouble causer and by their teacher as a disruptive or naughty child.
A startling fact is that only 1 in 3 children in the UK have had their eyes examined and their vision checked. The earlier you can have your child seen by an optician the sooner problems with vision can be found and addressed. The longer you leave it, the greater the chance that your child’s education, vision and quality of life may suffer.
I am not suggesting that every disruptive child in a class is disruptive because they have poor vision, but it could well be a significant reason or contributing factor. The best way to know is to see your family optician. If you don’t have a family Optician, then get one!
A good place to start would be to call into a local independent practice and ask about eye-care for you and your family.