This post is a continuation of the post “Why Vision Therapy Can Keep Our Kids From Failing in School (Part 1)”.
The Life of a Child in 2010
Whether their mothers work outside of the home or not, parents are very afraid to let their children play outside unsupervised because of the threat of child abduction. Because of this fear and because more activities are available to families outside of the home today, any movement activities are generally very structured and require little experimentation or spontaneity.
Kids spend most of their time at home watching television or DVD’s when they are not playing video games. These children do not development good laterality or visual-motor abilities because they are not moving as much and what movement is done is very structured and planned.
They are also not developing good visualization skills because the images are coming into their brains from the screen rather than being created in their brains and then played out in the real world.
Even in the normal visual developmental sequence, a child does not become visually mature and dominant until he or she is at least five to six years of age. Since this is the time that children today are required to start reading in most cases, it’s imperative that good visual development takes place before they enter school.
If their general and visual development is behind due to the factors listed above, they will not be visually competent by the time they are required to perform the complex visual task of reading. If the child is not visually dominant when they are required to read, spell, and perform math problems, they will have to use another sensory system (called “deflecting) to process the visual input which decreases their competency in all of these areas.
Fortunately, these visual problems can be remediated with a program of vision therapy which is offered by developmental optometrists all over the world. Vision therapy trains the brain to perform visual functions such as tracking, eye-teaming, focusing, and visual processing correctly when visual system development was delayed or interrupted for any reason.
When children undergo a vision therapy program, their parents usually find that the child not only performs as well as their peers in school, but they often excel beyond that due to exceptional visual abilities developed during therapy.
Since our culture is not going to change back to that of the 1960’s, the need for vision therapy will continue to grow. Therefore, it is important that children who are struggling in school have a complete functional vision examination by a developmental optometrist to determine if vision therapy is right for them. If so, it will change their lives.