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Bad Behaviour? Are You Really Seeing The Problem?
There is nothing worse than being contacted about your child’s 'bad behavior' in school. But what if there was a more basic reason- one that neither the teacher or you have picked up on?
Good vision is a key component to doing well in school. All learning revolves around your child's eyesight in some way, whether it is through reading the whiteboard, computer skills, reading and writing, not to mention how important it is in physical education and playing sports.

If your child has a vision problem the sooner you get it checked and sorted, the sooner their development and learning will get back on track.

Imagine what it would be like to be in the classroom but not able to read the words on the data projector or to read what the next instructions are- if a child does not know what to do-it may result in negative behavior out of boredom, and negative attention from the teacher who may think your child is being naughty.

Do not expect your child to be able to recognise that they have an eyesight problem-after all this is the way they have always seen, so they will think their vision is normal and will not realise it could be made better.

The last vision check your child will have will most likely be in the B4 school checks or maybe their first year in school. After this there will not be another eye test until they are in Year 7 (11 or 12 years old). At this time boys should have their color vision tested as well.

This screening will be carried out at your child's school by vision hearing technicians. The result of this test usually comes home with your child or is sent to you in the mail. Ask your school about it.

So between these two vision checks there will be nothing. With your child's learning and development at risk, you really cannot rely on the school to pick up on any vision problems -more than likely they will not- so it is up to you.

As a parent you need to be aware that this could be an issue and when behavior comes up that you are worried about, your first step should be to get your child’s hearing and vision checked. Bad hearing and vision should always be ruled out first. It does not have to be 'naughty' behavior, it may include your child not feeling comfortable to put their hand up for activities or take part in classroom discussions.

Key signs that may show your child has a vision problem include:

  • learning or reading difficulties, affecting all areas of school including maths ( for help please sign up at www.stayontrack.co.nz)
  • being clumsier than usual for their age
  • they screw their eyes up or tilt their head to see, or
  • has frequent headaches

    It is important that if you have concerns about your child's vision or hearing at any time, take your child for an assessment, either through your school or get a referral from your GP.

    The sooner the better
  • StayOnTrack Limited 2014