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Is your child’s vision ready for school?

We spoke with LEZA FOX from Anstice Optometrists about how a child’s vision affects their learning and how early assessment can help put kids back on the path to success.

It’s hardly surprising that your child’s vision plays a crucial role in unlocking learning at school, and impacts on their overall happiness and wellbeing. 

Research carried out in the UK by Geraint Griffiths in 1996 reveals clear links between vision issues and poor concentration, a range of specific learning difficulties, fatigue and behavioural changes. Children who struggle to maintain near binocular control (two eyes working together) have to work so much harder to access the learning – leading to confusion, fatigue and frustration. 

According to this study, 60 per cent of children work harder than normal for their age group to maintain binocular control at near distances. The good news is that many have no problems at school. However, according to the study, 16-20 per cent of kids aren’t coping as they attempt to manage their binocular instability. For this group, the impact is far-reaching. “We see academically able children underachieving in literacy for this reason,” says Leza. 

However, vision issues are often overlooked. “Children may ‘see’ fine usually, but it’s how they are seeing that holds the key to uncovering the cause of their learning difficulties at school.”

Based on years of success in the UK by Geraint Griffiths, Schoolvision® was introduced to New Zealand in 2013, exclusive to Anstice Optometrists in the Canterbury region. Early assessment by a Schoolvision® trained optometrist is crucial. The specific testing procedures enable the optometrist to detect near binocular instabilities, which allows them to stabilise a child’s near vision – putting kids in a position to optimise and enjoy their time at school. 

“Being able to offer these assessments can be an incredibly rewarding process,” says Leza. “Through regular annual monitoring, children are able to realise their true potential.”

Book your child’s assessment at Anstice Optometrists, 10 Clyde Road, Ilam, by phoning 03 343 3909.

“George is amazed at the difference his glasses are making! Everything is clearer, and he is marvelling over the stitching on his clothes and how much easier it is to do up his shoelaces. His glasses are now up there with his favourite possessions, and he confidently headed off to school this morning knowing that he would have an easier day because he can see better.”

– mother

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