For Parents ! ! ! ! !
A child's comprehensive eye examination should include the testing of the following visual skills which are aspects of normal, healthy vision.
Acuity-Distance: visual acuity (sharpness, clearness) at 20 feet distance.
Acuity-Near: visual acuity for short distance (specifically, reading distance).
Focusing Skills: the ability of the eyes to maintain clear vision at varying distances.
Eye Tracking and Fixation Skills: the ability of the eyes to look at and accurately follow an object; this includes the ability to move the eyes across a sheet of paper while reading, etc.
Binocular fusion: the ability to use both eyes together at the same time.
Stereopis: binocular depth perception.
Convergence and Eye Teaming Skills: the ability of the eyes to aim, move and work as a coordinated team.
Hyperopia: a refractive condition that makes it difficult to focus, especially at near viewing distances.
Color Vision: the ability to differentiate colors.
Reversal Frequency: confusing letters or words (b, d; p, q: saw, was; etc.)
Visual Memory: the ability to store and retrieve visual information.
Visual Form Discrimination: the ability to determine if two shapes, colors, sizes, positions, or distances are the same or different.
Visual Motor Integration: the ability to combine visual input with other sensory input (hand and body movements, balance, hearing, etc.); the ability to transform images from a vertical to a horizontal plane (such as from the blackboard to the desk surface).
Some basic eye exams or vision screenings test only one of the above: Acuity-Distance (clarity of sight in the distance, 20/20 eyesight).
An eye exam that tests distance vision only is NOT an adequate evaluation of a child's visual development. The visual skills listed above contribute significantly to a child's success with reading and school achievement.