Look at those Eyes!!
Your baby has beautiful eyes. But are they healthy? Can she see ok? Your new baby has a lot of growing and learning to do. How well she sees can affect the development of those other skills. Things like crawling and walking all depend on those beautiful eyes working well.
Babies First Eye Exam
Baby’s first eye exam should be with a pediatric ophthalmologist or an optometrist that specializes in pediatrics.The American Optometric Association recommends baby has his first eye exam at 6 months old. Because this first exam is so important, the AOA program InfantSee provides for this first eye exam to be at no charge through the AOA Foundation.
At this eye exam, the doctor will check that baby’s eyes are healthy and developing as they should. They will check eye alignment and acuity using special techniques that are accurate and safe. The doctor is also making sure there is not an imbalance between the eyes causing the brain to ignore one eye.
When baby grows, her eyes will change
As baby becomes a busy toddler, her vision is still very important. She will enjoy bright colors and exploring the world around her. Just as her body has changed, so too has her vision changed. A second eye exam is recommended at the age of three to ensure your toddler is seeing her exciting new world accurately.
The School Bell Rings
School is a very visually demanding time in a child’s life. Learning to read and write all require the best possible vision. This is also a time for great outdoor fun, playing sports and riding bikes. A child’s visual system is really working hard. Children grow so much every year that an annual eye exam is recommended to make sure their eyes are not limiting their success in school. Difficulty reading, poor handwriting and eye rubbing could all be signs that a child is having a visual problem affecting their academic performance. Even ADHD-like behaviors could be a near vision focusing problem.
Who does these eye exams?
Only an ophthalmologist or optometrist can guarantee your child’s eye health and vision are at its best. Vision screenings at school or with the pediatrician’s office will not uncover vision problems like convergence insufficiency that could be affecting a child’s development or performance. Only a visit with an eye care professional makes sure your child is seeing his best.Even children with 20/20 vision can have vision problems that affect their academic performance.
Vision Rehab Services at The Arc Gateway’s Pearl Nelson Center
Robert Constantine, OTR\L, is an occupational therapist with over 20 years’ experience working with adults and children in our community. Since 2013, he has worked closely with local optometrists and other doctors providing cutting edge vision rehab services to help with vision problems not correctable with glasses. This unique partnership allows access to vision rehab services to every child in our area helping with vision problems affecting academic performance as well as the visual complaints following concussion and brain injury. His training and experience make him a sought-after speaker and instructor as he spreads the word about the importance of good vision.
Robert is happy to speak before parent groups, educators, reading specialists, guidance counselors, childcare providers, and just about anyone who could benefit from gaining knowledge about identifying functional vision problems and how to get help for your child/ student. Maybe Robert can help your child? Ask your eye care professional.
You can contact Robert a Robert.Constantine@arc-gateway.org or by calling the Pearl Nelson Center 850-434-7755