Comprehensive Testing by a Behavioural Optometrist

Do you suspect vision problems may be disrupting your child’s (or your own) learning?

A Functional Vision Assessment is a thorough evaluation of an individual’s visual abilities and how they influence behaviour and performance.

Conducted by a registered behavioural optometrist, with advanced training and equipment, this assessment looks beyond eyesight and eye health, to identify visual processing issues and their impact on activities like reading, learning, and coordination.

The findings guide the development of personalised interventions such as vision therapy to address your child’s specific challenges and enhance visual function.

Why is it Important?

Undiagnosed vision problems not only affect a person’s ability to see; they may also impact critical areas like mobility, motor function, coordination, speech, and learning.

Alarmingly, 1 in 4 children has a vision problem severe enough to affect their learning at school (1), however regular school vision screenings can miss up to half of these problems (2).

A Functional Vision Assessment is a more in-depth tool which is valuable for diagnosing and guiding the ongoing management of such issues.

Who Might Need a Functional Vision Assessment?

There are several disabilities which are associated with vision problems, so a Functional Vision Assessment is recommended for individuals living with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Chromosomal Abnormalities, or Developmental Delays.

However, there are other cases where a Functional Vision Assessment may be required.

If you are persistently noticing 3 or more of the behaviours from our checklist below, we recommend booking in a Functional Vision Assessment.

Functional Vision Assessment Checklist

  • Frequent squinting or blinking
  • Itchy or watery eyes
  • Eye rubbing
  • Persistent headaches
  • Avoidance of either near (eg reading, writing) or distance (playing sports) tasks
  • Difficulty tracking moving objects
  • Frequently losing place when reading
  • Writing uphill or downhill
  • Head tilting or unusual postures
  • Short attention span for visual tasks
  • Poor hand-eye coordination
  • Complaining of double vision
  • Clumsiness
  • Forgetfulness

What to Expect

The consultation begins with our behavioural optometrist asking you for details of your child’s health and eye history. This information will then be used to develop a functional vision test to suit their individual needs.

Our behavioural optometrists are experienced in working with children and aim to provide a comfortable and calm environment and experience. The whole process takes around 60 – 90 minutes.

What Visual Skills are Tested?

  • Visual clarity and sharpness
  • Eye tracking ability
  • Focussing ability

What Treatment will My Child Need if a Problem is Detected?

Treatment will vary from patient to patient. For some, a simple modification to their current glasses’ prescription may be enough. In other cases, a more comprehensive plan may be put in place and could involve visual therapy – a series of programmed activities to teach skills for improving vision and eye health.

The good news is, many of the required skills can be learned through a tailored approach under the guidance of an experienced behavioural optometrist (3).

Interested in learning more? Call us on 3824 1878 to enquire about booking a Functional Vision Assessment with one of our experienced behavioural optometrists.

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Children's eye tests start from 6 months of age.

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