The school year just began, and whether you’re a teacher or a parent you may notice some differences in their behavior from last year to this year. When children act out in the classroom, there is likely going to be a call discussing behavioral issues or ADHD, but it’s important to know what you’re really looking at. All they might need is a trip to their eye care practitioner.
One in four children has a vision problem, which, if left undiagnosed can easily lead to long term limitations if they have fallen too far behind. Both ADHD and an untreated vision problem can make it difficult for a child to engage, focus, refrain from disrupting in class, or perform well on exams. How can you tell the difference?
In young children who are perhaps not aware that they are having trouble seeing, it can truly be difficult to tell the difference between these two conditions. Two of the mainly cited symptoms of ADHD that are not on the list for an undiagnosed vision problem are impulsivity and disorganization, but let’s face it, they’re kids.
While we wish we could give you a bulleted list of how to tell the difference, it’s not that simple. The key to assessing whether or not the child has ADHD or a vision problem is to see both your general health care practitioner as well as your child’s eye care practitioner. Scheduling this for the beginning of school every year is a good way to get into a rhythm.
Here are some basic back to school tips for your child’s vision:
Schedule an eye exam.
Be on the lookout for signs of a vision problem.
Practice good eye nutrition.
Limit screen time.
Adults looking at a screen less than 8 hours per day
Adults and children concerned about eye health
Block Blue Light at night to sleep