Vision and Reading

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Reading requires the integration of a number of different visual skills: visual acuity, visual fixation, accommodation, binocular fusion, convergence, field of vision, and form perception. Because a combination of problems, rather than just one, is usually at the root of a reading problem, all possible causes should be explored. While a basic vision screening accounts for only one of these abilities, a comprehensive vision examination covers all of these vision skills and is imperative for every child who experiences difficulty reading. A child needs to be able to interpret and accurately process what he or she sees. Difficulty with visual skills in any of these areas may result in great frustration in school, especially with reading. Children who have problems with basic visual skills often struggle in school unnecessarily; a vision problem may prevent a child from performing at grade level. Symptoms of reading related vision problems can seem elusive and are often undetected by parents and teachers. This may occur because a child appears able to see, does not complain about his or her eyes, has passed a school vision screening or has not had a comprehensive eye examination.