Testing a child’s eyes is not like testing an adult’s. It requires a great deal of patience and skill from the Optometrist, and it is an area which Behavioural Optometrists specifically target with their diagnostic skills, learning and abilities.
Many of the children we see here at Eye CU have been tested previously, usually at a large chain store, and very frequently key results have either been missed or not even tested for! That’s why people travel huge distances to see Darin, who has 30 years experience in working with children and their specific needs, especially in regards to learning disabilities and short-sightedness control.
How Can I Compare Children’s Eye Tests?
Most Optometrists, especially commercial or chain store practitioners, test children as they would an adult. They look only at their seeing ability, whether they are long or short sighted and their eye health.
If you have visited an Optometrist with your child and received the diagnosis of “Your child has 20/20 vision,” then chances are they have simply done a standard eye test. Most parents, even after the “all clear” diagnosis, have an underlying suspicion that there still may be a problem.
As a parent, you need to know not only that your child is healthy and sees well, but also that they are using their vision effectively for learning. Vision is the dominant sense in the classroom with over 80% of all information coming in through the eyes and visual system, so it makes sense that most developmental delays are due to vision-related problems (which go way beyond simply whether your child can see the board or book).
The great news is that even though we do more tests, we do NOT charge outside of Medicare, meaning that our full, comprehensive eye examination for children is BULK BILLED, with no extra payments required from your own pocket.
Darin checks eyesight, eye health, and long or short-sightedness or astigmatism just like other Optometrists, but also goes far beyond an adult eye test. He specifically looks at the following…
Eye Movements- Examining how your child moves their eyes across the page, and helping kids who misread, skip words or lines or make up words based on the first few letters.
Eye Teaming- How your child coordinates their two eyes, perceives depth and how much effort they need to put in to achieve this is essential in helping a child learn and concentrate.
Focusing ability- Probably the single most important ability your child needs to concentrate on their school work. Problems with this lead to poor concentration, sore or tired eyes, headaches and under-achievement at school. If your child seems smarter than their grades, you need this area examined!
Visual Perception- This involves how we use and process the information that we take in through our eyes.
In addition, we have treatments that are exclusive to our practice, including unique lenses and eye exercises or vision therapy specifically aimed at treating learning problems, dyslexia, developmental delays, and shortsightedness. In other words, we use natural, holistic treatment ideas and follow through to make sure every possible way to help your child is explored, tested and treated.
We don’t just flog glasses to kids, we offer the entire package!
No, there is no single, all-encompassing eye test specifically for dyslexia. A child’s eyes and vision forms part of the overall syndrome which is involved with dyslexia, and as a Behavioural Optometrist, Darin is skilled at detecting the role vision plays in learning and dyslexia. Using special lenses and vision therapy, in almost all diagnosed cases of dyslexia, we can find ways of helping and changing the condition, leading to increases in school and learning performance.
What to Bring for a Children’s Eye Test
All you need to bring is…
1. Your child
2. Yourself (we want you to sit in on the test so you can see what we do and discuss our results), and
3. Any relevant paperwork (including referrals, school reports, doctor’s reports or anything else you deem necessary).
4. Samples of writing or reading can also be helpful to us.
5. Please also bring any old glasses, contact lenses or prescriptions your child has.
On average a children’s eye test takes around 30 minutes, and at the end, you will be presented with a number of treatment options. Again, our aim is to serve you as you try and obtain the best possible outcome for your child, whether it be helping them with their learning or trying to control their short-sightedness. Most of our patients come back every year for ongoing help or check-ups (which are Bulk Billed also), so when you bring your child to Eye CU Optometrist you and your family’s vision is in the best of hands!
So whatever your child’s eye or vision needs, whether they have learning problems, dyslexia, turned or lazy eyes, increasing short-sightedness or lack of concentration, you’ll find the most enjoyable and helpful experience on the Sunshine Coast when you bring your child for a children’s eye test at Eye CU Optometrist.