Richard, a 10-year-old fifth grader, has the ability to be an above average student, but he is struggling just to maintain his average grades. As a parent, you try to figure out what could be wrong, and you notice Richard is easily distracted. He almost never completes in-class assignments and consequently does poorly on answering the follow-up questions.

On homework, if the task is creative writing, he does well. But if he has to read for understanding, he seems lost. Watching more closely, you also notice Richard rubs his eyes often when he’s reading. Sometimes he complains he has a headache or tired eyes. Richard’s behavior is characteristic of a child with an undetected vision problem.

And there are many Richards. Experts estimate that 20 to 25 percent of school-age children have vision problems significant enough to interfere with academic performance. For children with learning problems, the figures are as high as 30 to 60 percent. And, many of these children have passed the annual school vision screening with flying colors.

Most people think a child who has passed the annual school vision screening has “good vision” and can see the board and textbooks clearly. Unfortunately, this is a serious misconception because the traditional school screening doesn’t test aspects of vision required for reading. And, sadly, the perception that everything’s okay can mask significant learning related vision problems.

The key to understanding the relationship between vision and learning is realizing that vision is more than just being able to see the smallest letters on a vision chart. Visual problems can be divided into two broad categories – the ability to gather information through the eyes and visual processing.

Does your child have an undetected vision problem? A full evaluation by professionals at The Eye Institute of Salus University, who have the expertise to test for both types of vision problems, is the only way to detect some vision disorders.

The education and clinical training of pediatric professionals at The Eye Institute stress both eye health and eye function. This makes them uniquely qualified to detect and treat vision problems that interfere with school performance. All of the optometrists in the pediatric service of The Eye Institute are experts in treating learning related vision problems. As your child heads back to school, it’s important to insure there are no learning related vision problems that could interfere with his or her progress in the classroom.

Call The Eye Institute of Salus University at 215.276.6111 or visit www.TEIvision.com to make an appointment today.