Skip to main content

The Hood Magazine

Getting Ready for Back to School: Will it be a Good Year?

Jul 30, 2018 09:01AM ● By Dr. Angela Gulbranson, Visions Eye Care + Therapy Center

By: Dr. Angela Gulbranson, Visions Eye Care & Vision Therapy Center

What can parents do to help ensure this school year will be better than last year? How do you help a struggling reader when nothing seems to make a difference? 

Simply put, if your child has a vision problem, it can make reading and learning difficult.  Most people incorrectly assume that if their child can see in the distance, they can see fine up close at reading distance. There are actually more than 17 different visual skills that are vital to academic performance and being able to see the letters on the eye chart is only one of those skills. In addition, the majority of eye coordination and eye movement problems that impact academic performance are not detectable through your child’s wellness check, vision screenings and most eye exams.


Homework battles often occur when there is no apparent explanation for why the child avoids reading. The child is bright, interested in and understands printed material when it is read out loud by someone else. However, when reading, the child seems to struggle. This may be a sign of eye coordination and eye tracking disorders. There are additional signs you may see during homework and reading; for example, does your child: 

-Get frustrated when trying to read or do homework? 

-Take longer doing homework than it should? 

-Have trouble keeping their place while reading?  

-Have trouble making out words?

-Skip words or repeat lines when reading out loud to you? 

-Reverse letters like b's into d's when reading? 

-Have a short attention span with schoolwork?

If your child has any of these signs, he or she may have a fully correctable vision problem.  Please don’t assume that because your child passed their last vision screening, that they are not at risk. If your child continues to struggle with reading, it’s time to see an optometrist who provides an in-office program of optometric vision therapy. Doctors who are members of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) provide specialized testing to evaluate all of the visual skills required for academic success.  Visit

Read our new issue now!