Visual development in children is a very important part of child development including fine motor development, gross motor development, and visual perceptual development. Without good vision development in children, many cognitive stages of child development may be delayed and learning problems could occur once the child enters kindergarten and grade school.
So why is visual development delayed in some children? There are five main factors that can cause delay or even inhibit certain stages of child development including visual development.
The first is the development of complications during pregnancy or during the birthing process. Because visual development in children starts before the baby is born, any complications during pregnancy could affect the natural progression of vision development and maybe even cause the skipping of stages of development if the complication is severe. C-section births, forceps births, vacuum births, and any other artificial means of aiding in the birth of a child can also delay visual development in children significantly.
Many childhood illnesses can also delay or interfere with visual development in children. High fevers, frequent infections such as ear infections, and chronic illnesses prevent the body from using its energy to develop the visual system properly and instead has to put that energy towards healing the body. Another effect of chronic illness on vision development in children is the necessary lack of movement that the child experiences when sick which delays motor development and, in turn, visual development.
Head trauma and injury can also delay vision development in children. Bruising of the brain which will not show up on brain scans can occur which may cause the visual pathways of the brain to be damaged. Even if the injury is not enough to cause brain damage, the healing of the injury and the healing of the brain’s reaction to trauma can once again take energy away from necessary visual development in children.
Good visual development in children can also be affected by genetics. Developmental optometrists frequently see visual-related learning problems run in families, so children with family imembers who have visual-related learning problems (which are often misdiagnosed as ADD, ADHD, or dyslexia) are more at risk for poor visual development.
Finally, environmental factors can influence the quality of visual development in children. Everything from not enough movement in play, too much television or video games, or contaminants such as mercury or lead in their environment can delay or stall the most effective vision development in children.
Fortunately, good visual development in preschoolers can be enhanced by the use of home activities which can supplement the delay or lack of cognitive stages of child development and motor development. For more information on Visual Development in Preschoolers, go to my website at www.visiontherapyathome.com.