“Undetected and untreated vision problems are of great concern because they can interfere with the ability to perform to one’s full learning potential.  When these vision problems have an adverse effect on learning, they are referred to as learning related vision problems.”

This statement comes from the Clinical Practice Guidelines of the American Optometric Association on Care of the Patient with Learning Related Vision Problems.  Co-authored by Dr. Press along with a team of experts from around the United States, these guidelines make it clear that there is much more to the visual requirements for learning that seeing 20/20 on an eye chart or passing a vision screening.

As included in the Clinical Guideline, here are some key signs and symptoms that your child may have a learning related vision problem:

Eye Tracking

  • Excessive head movement when reading
  • Skipping lines or losing place when reading
  • Omitting words and transposing words when reading
  • Needing to use finger or marker to keep place when reading


  • Headaches associated with near visual tasks
  • Blurred or double vision at distance or near
  • Decreased attention for near visual tasks
  • Gets close to page when reading or writing

Visual Processing/Attention

  • Poor letter recognition, spelling, sequencing
  • Difficulty in visual search or scanning
  • Crowding and getting lost on the page
  • Learns better by ear or listening than by eye or looking

Visual Motor Integration

  • Difficulty copying from the board accurately
  • Trouble with spacing between words or staying on line
  • Poor posture when writing with or without torticolis
  • Delays or mistakes in math when writing compared to verbal

Read the full clinical guideline.

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