Children's Behavioural Optometry

Children face unique visual demands crucial to their development and learning needs, including learning to read and write, following along in the classroom, and developing their motor skills when creating art or playing games. Eyesight typically refers to the ability to see an eye chart on a wall, while vision quality refers to the ability to accomplish necessary, age-appropriate tasks.

At our Gold Coast eye clinics, located in Burleigh Waters and Tweed Heads, we take a special interest in ensuring your child has the vision clarity necessary to learn and thrive in every way possible.

What Is Behavioural Optometry?

Behavioural optometry intervenes with measurements relevant to children’s needs that go beyond measuring their ability to read an eye chart in the distance.

It accounts for:

  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Distance focus and blurred distance vision evaluation
  • Assessment of lazy eye (amblyopia) or turned-eye (strabismus)
  • Tracking eye movements for reading
  • Vision perception and processing
  • Evaluation of neurological conditions or head trauma

Benefits of Behavioural Optometry

At Envision Optical, we believe that preventing the development of eye conditions is preferable to treating the symptoms later. By implementing in-depth behavioural optometry assessment, we aim to:

  • Prevent vision problems from developing or progressing
  • Treat existing eye and vision issues
  • Ensure vital vision for classroom work, reading, writing and playing sports

Vision quality enhances and promotes proper learning and participation in play or sport. Each child who visits our eye clinics will receive a full vision assessment to determine if any developmental or sight deficiencies exist, so we can address them right away.

Treatment of Children’s Developmental Vision Disorders

Our optometrists, Andrew Bowden, Nicole Arnold and Cassie Baan, will use a multi-modality approach to treating developmental vision problems based on your child’s unique needs.

Such treatments may include:

  • Spectacles to improve vision
  • Eye and coordination exercises
  • Digital device limitations
  • Increased outdoor sports and play
  • Use of tinted lenses when necessary
  • Copying exercises

Your child’s teacher may notice the telltale signs of vision problems in the classroom, but parents need to know the signs of vision problems.

  • Squinting or squeezing the eyes to see far away objects
  • Daydreaming or drifting
  • Lack of interest in learning
  • Unusual redness in the eyes
  • Sores on the eyelids
  • One eye seems to turn away or toward the other
  • Excessive rubbing of eyes
  • Complaints of pain or discomfort
  • Avoids bright light 
  • Difficulty learning age-appropriate information

You can learn more about behavioural optometry by following this link.

When Should My Child Have Their First Eye Exam?

We recommend you bring your child in for their first exam at the start of school and every two years afterwards. If you notice problems sooner, we encourage you to contact our eye clinics in Burleigh Waters or Tweed Heads so we can intervene early when your child is rapidly learning about the world around them.