Vision and Learning

Optometric Checklist for Educators, Parents, and Patients

This checklist of symptoms of visual problems observed at school, at home, and at work will help your optometrist understand how the child/adult performs visually in his daily activities. You can print this out to take with you when you visit your doctor.

  • Fatigue with reading or comprehension drops with time
  • Confusion of similar words of letters
  • Omits words
  • Short attention span while reading
  • Difficulty keeping place while reading
  • Holds head too close to book
  • Slow reading or word-by-word reading
  • Skips or rereads lines
  • Uses finger or marker as a pointer
  • Avoids reading
  • Says the words aloud or lip reads
  • Difficulty remembering what has been read
  • Reverses words or letters
  • Difficulty remembering newly learned words
  • Poor sitting posture and posision while reading
  • Excessive head turning while reading
  • Frowning, excessive blinking, scowling, squinting, or other facial distortions while reading
  • Rubs eyes during or after reading
  • Tilts head to one side
  • Turns head so as to use one eye only
  • Closes or covers one eye
Writing and Other Desk Tasks
  • Holds head too close to desk when writing
  • Gross postural defects while seated at desk
  • Restlessness while working at desk
  • Difficulty copying from chalkboard or book
  • Squints or blinks looking up at chalkboard
  • Tilts head to one side
  • Turns head so as to use one eye only
  • Omits or repeats letters, words, or phrases
  • Poor eye-hand coordination including poor writing
  • Writes neatly but too slowly
  • Reversals persisting in grade 2 or beyond
  • Weight on the writing arm
  • Does not use other hand to hold paper
  • Immature pencil grip
  • Poor finger movement in writing
  • Draws with short sketchy lines
  • Turns paper to draw lines in different directions
  • Body Posture and Space Awareness
  • Unusual awkwardness
  • Frequent tripping or stumbling
  • Body rigidity while looking at distant objects
  • Thrusts head forward or backward while looking at distant objects
  • Confuses right and left directions
Appearance of Eyes
  • Crossed eyes-turning in or out
  • Watering or bloodshot eyes
  • Red-rimmed, crusted or swollen lids
  • Frequent sties
General Behavior
  • Short attention span
  • Dislike for tasks requiring sustained visual concentration
  • Nervousness, irritability, or restlessness after maintaining visual concentration
  • Inattentiveness, daydreaming
  • Unusal fatigue after completing a vision task
  • Frequent signs of frustration
  • Tension during close work
  • Avoids close work
Questions for Children
  • Does your vision get blurry at any time?
  • Can you make it clear?
  • Do you ever see objects double?
  • Do you have headaches, dizziness, or feel sick to your stomach when you use your eyes, or do you get carsick?
  • Do letters and lines “run together” or words “jump”?
  • Do your eyes get tired after reading for a few minutes?
  • Do your eyes ever feel hot or itch?
  • Does light bother your eyes?
  • Do you know where to catch a pop-up fly ball, how far to throw a ball, where the ball is going to be?