What is visual stress?
There is a strong correlation between visual stress and learning differences. It is always worth considering if this is impacting on your child’s ability to engage with their learning.
There are a variety of visual issues. They can be
- poor eye focusing ability (binocular stability)
- poor eye tracking ability (eye movement control)
- visual stress from sensitivity to glare, pattern and flickering (Irlen Syndrome)
With Irlen Syndrome you can still have perfect vision, but the brain does not process what it sees correctly.
It is common to have more than one visual issue so you need to see a person who can look at the variety of visual issues.
It is important to note that visual stress is NOT dyslexia. Dyslexia is a language-based learning difficulty however both can make it difficult for a child to engage with their reading.
You may notice your child
- gets tired reading
- jumps around on lines while reading
- says the words are moving on a page
- has sore eyes
- gets headaches
- can be clumsy, not able to notice what is at their feet.
Steps to take
You need to check all visual issues to know if they are impacting or not.
1. Visual issues
To check visual issues, you go to a qualified optometrist who can check the eye focusing and tracking abilities.
2. Irlen Syndrome
To check for Irlen’s Syndrome you go to a certified Irlen’s screener and/or diagnostician.
- The use of coloured overlays or lenses can assist those with Irlen Syndrome by helping to reduce visual stress.
- Reducing glare in the classroom or on white paper can help.