Teacher's Guide to Vision and Learning

What Every Teacher Should Know About Their Student’s Vision & Eye Health

  • 80 percent of all learning during a child’s first 12 years of life is obtained through vision.
  • Over half of students identified as problem learners have undetected vision problems.
  • Children with vision problems may not recognize that they have difficulty seeing because they have “always seen this way,” or changes in their vision are so gradual that they go unnoticed.
  • A school vision test or a pediatrician's screening, while helpful, is not a substitute for a thorough eye examination from an eye doctor.  Basic vision screenings detect children with easily identifiable vision problems, which could be as few as 5% of all potential vision problems in children.
  • If vision problems are missed during crucial times in development, the child’s eye health, development and learning performance may be negatively affected.
  • The Wisconsin Optometric Association (WOA) provides free care to children who cannot afford exams or glasses. Please see Children's Programs - VISION USA regarding the VISION USA - The Wisconsin Project program.

As an educator, you play a very important role in the future success of the students you teach. Often times, you’re the first one to notice vision/learning problems in the classroom. Vision has a direct affect on how well a child learns. Encountering vision problems, and having them go untreated can result in serious learning difficulties and behavioral issues.

Signs that a child may be experiencing vision difficulties:

  • Trouble finishing written assignments
  • Often loses place or skips words when reading
  • Makes errors when copying from the board
  • Holds reading material close to face
  • Rubs eyes
  • Does not perform to potential

Alert parents if you think a child may have a vision problem
What your students should know about eye care
What could be a better learning tool than having an Optometrist visit your classroom for a guest lecture or a trip to the local eye doctor? Give your class some first hand knowledge about proper eye care, safety, and what happens during an eye exam. An eye doctor can make them aware of the problems that come with poor vision, such as headaches, dizziness, blurry vision, squinting, etc. and tell them how to protect their precious eyesight from injuries related to sports, the sun and everyday life. The WOA can help you connect with an Optometrist in your area. Please call 800-435-2020 for a recommendation.

The Wisconsin Optometric Association (WOA) recommends that every child receive a comprehensive eye examination before starting school, and after that, on a schedule recommended by an eye doctor.

The WOA is dedicated to working with Wisconsin schools to ensure that all children receive regular eye exams. For more information on children’s vision and free eye exams for children who cannot afford care, call 1-877-435-2020.

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