The visual development process continues as a child develops visually guided eye-hand movements, gross-body coordination skills, fine motor movement skills, and eventually, the visual perceptual abilities needed to be successful in school activities.
At this age, it is imperative that the child’s vision be re-assessed in order to determine if any need for a prescription has developed. The ability of the eyes to follow a moving target, change focus between two different targets, as well as the ability to move the eyes smoothly in different directions should be evaluated as these are essential skills needed as one begins pre-school. The alignment of the eyes relative to one another should also be re-checked at this point. Even though the eyes may appear to be looking straight ahead, the visual system may be using an excessive amount of energy to maintain that straight ahead alignment, eventually leading to visual problems. The ability to perceive different colors and the ability to recognize the world in three-dimensions (depth perception), should also be tested. It is also important to have an overall eye health examination to ensure no abnormalities have developed.
- Struggling with activities requiring good eye-hand coordination (catching or throwing a ball)
- Difficulty with body coordination skills during physical activities (riding a bike, skipping, or jumping rope)
- Confusion when asked to recognize or sort colors, shapes, letters and numbers
- Avoids detail oriented activities (coloring pictures or working on puzzles)
- Unable to appreciate the 3-D effect from a 3-D movie
- Excessive sensitivity to light
- Relatively short attention span
- Turning of an eye in or out
- Rubbing the eyes frequently
- Tilting or turning head to one side
- Sitting close to the television or holding a book close when reading