Parents, take note! Undetected eye problems may adversely affect your child’s ongoing learning, says scientists who found that students with poor vision had lower academic scores. Researchers at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Australia found that 30 per cent of students tested had uncorrected eye problems that could affect their academic performances.
The children referred for further optometric examination had significantly lower scores in reading, spelling, numeracy, grammar and punctuation tests. “Children’s eyes need to be tested early in primary school and throughout schooling to ensure they can fully engage with the visual aspects of classroom learning,” said Sonia White, senior research fellow at QUT.
White said vision screening and assessment was not currently mandated prior to children commencing school, which may mean that some of the children will have vision and visual processing difficulties that remain undetected by parents and teachers. Along with vision assessment, children completed a range of near vision learning tasks, such as reading and mathematics, while eye tracking was used to examine specific visual processing behaviours underlying these activities.
“The aim is to level the playing field in terms of vision and provide every opportunity for learning and academic achievement for children in school and later life,” said Joanne Wood, from QUT.
The study was published in the International Journal of Education Research.