Posted on 01 Dec 2016


There’s a lot more to good vision than just having 20/20 sight. This is well known, however, most vision screening tests track a child’s progress by having them read a chart from 20 feet away. Makes sense right? Optometrists are making sure children are getting the proper vision care in Austin. But most of the learning a child does is from 20 inches away on the desk in front of them, not 20 feet! This is why simply haven’t 20/20 vision isn’t enough. There’s a lot more going on than reading from a blackboard like reading comprehension or eye teaming.


Not all Austin eye care specialists test for these things, but the Austin Vision Therapy Center does. Before you book your child’s next vision appointment, here are a few other functions parents should consider evaluating. Some may be minor, but it is important to make note of even the smallest ocular and vision changes or habits.


  1. Eye Teaming

Sometimes called binocular vision, eye teaming is a visual efficiency skill that the brain develops to keep both eyes working together in a precise, coordinated way. If the eyes aren’t synced up, text can appear blurry or faded.

Keeping your eyes focused together on the same spot is the basis of depth perception. Parents shouldn’t wait until it’s time for their pride and joy to get behind the wheel before getting this checked! It can be extremely difficult for children to read or comprehend visual data if their eye teaming is not working properly. This, in turn, makes it much more challenging for these same children to actually learn.


  1. Switching Focus

Similar to learning to read, focusing is a skill that parents may not think about – it happens automatically. The eye’s ability to switch focus from near objects to far objects shouldn’t be taken lightly.


Switching focus doesn’t come easily to everyone. Specific eye exams can measure just how much effort it takes for the eyes to adjust – for instance, how long it would take a child to adjust focus from the blackboard to the notebook in front of them. This can become more of an obvious problem as your child reaches middle school and high school, because of the increasing academic demands.


  1. Visual Tracking

Another important skill that flies under the radar (unless there is an issue) is the ability to follow a sentence from start to finish. It may seem minor, but it is a very important skill to have. If a child has trouble following a sentence – perhaps they skip words entirely, or start reading from the middle of the sentence – it could be an issue with this visual efficiency skill. After all, how can children be expected to read if their eyes keep jumping all over the sentence?


Just because a child can see clearly doesn’t mean they understand what’s in front of them. Before going out to the Austin vision center, parents should do a little homework and see if they can get their children tested for more than just 20/20 vision, to make sure they have all of the comprehension skills necessary for learning.