Checklist for Parents
Consult the Parent's Checklist below and look for early signs of vision impairments such as Amblyopia, Strabismus (esotropia, esophoria, exotropia, "wandering-eye", "crossed-eyes", wall eyes", alternating esotropia, intermittent exotropia, exophoria), double vision, poor visual coordination, convergence insufficiency, accommodation problems (i.e., accommodative esotropia) and more.
PLEASE NOTE: The information contained herein is intended to be educational and is not intended in any way as a substitute for medical advice and care from qualified vision care providers -- the reader is advised to consult a vision care professional in matters relating to visual health and particularly with respect to any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention
Look for these signs and symptoms
If you check off several items on the following checklist, consider taking your child for a thorough vision examination that includes the testing of the following visual skills:
You observe the following behavior in your child:
- one eye drifts or aims in a different direction than the other (look carefully -- this can be subtle). This is significant even if it only
- occurs when the child is tired or stressed.
- turns or tilts head while reading or during other visual activities
- head is frequently tilted to one side or one shoulder is noticeably higher
- squinting or closing of one eye
- excessive blinking or squinting
- poor visual/motor coordination skills (often called, "hand-eye coordination")
- problems judging distances while moving in space, frequently bumps into things or drops things
- becomes easily confused when in motion
- frequently loses things
While reading or doing close work your child:
- holds the reading material or object too close
- closes one eye or covers eye with hand
- twists or tilts head toward book or object so as to favor one eye
- uses finger or ruler to read
- frequently loses place and/or skips or repeats lines
- fatigues easily and/or becomes drowsy
- rubs eyes during or after periods of the reading or close work
- reports that words move on page or run together
- has a tendency to knock things over on a desk or table
- exhibits avoidance behaviors
Child demonstrates or reports:
- headaches or eyestrain
- nausea or dizziness
- motion sickness or car sickness
- DOUBLE VISION!
Say no more. If your child reports seeing double, please take your child for a binocular vision evaluation immediately. Please remember that your child woulld probably not know that double vision is abnormal and it is unlikely that he or she would bring up the subject.
Catch Visual Problems Early!
Early detection of visual problems greatly increases the chances of successful rehabilitation. Children should be examined by an eye doctor during infancy and preschool years to detect potential problems with binocular vision. This is particularly important if any member of the family has had ambylopia or strabismus. Testing of binocular teaming skills should be a part of every child's comprehensive eye examination.
A second opinion is warranted with a developmental optometrist when your eye doctor:
- diagnoses ambylopia or strabismus, but offers only "lazy eye" or eye muscle surgery and/or patching -- no mention is made of non-surgical options, such as Vision Therapy
- recommends surgery only for cosmetic purposes (to make the eye appear straight to others) and does not believe that your child can develop binocular vision
- tells you that it is too late for either surgery and/or patching and that your child can not develop binocular vision.