What is a Developmental Vision Evaluation?
A Developmental Vision Evaluation includes checking the general health of the eye, visual acuity (20/20), refractive condition for appropriate corrective lenses when needed and all of the visual functions required for reading, writing, learning, sports performance and functioning in life. A developmental vision evaluation helps to pinpoint the precise area(s) of concern as well as the depth of the problem and to determine the best treatment options.
What tests are performed?
Sensorimotor Testing- measures ocular motility, ocular alignment, and ocular deviation in more than one area of gaze and binocular fusion. It is necessary for detection, assessment, monitoring and guidance for the medical, surgical and optical management of binocular function and motor eye misalignment. We perform the following tests to determine if there are any deficits:
Binocular Vergence (Eye Teaming) Testing – A measurement of convergence, ranges of fusion and coordination of the two eyes working together.
Oculomotor (Eye Tracking) Testing – A measurement of pursuits (smooth eye movements) and saccades (rapid jumping movements)
Accommodation (Eye Focusing) Testing – A measurement of eye focusing relating to the clarity of near vision and near visual attention and looking near to far.
Visual Perceptual Testing- tests the brain’s ability to make sense of what the eyes see. It is important for everyday activities such as dressing, eating, writing, and playing. When a child is behind in the development of visual processing skills, learning can take longer, requiring more cognitive effort that slows down the learning process. We perform the following tests to determine if there are any deficits:
Visual Discrimination – Evaluates the ability to see likes from differences. This is why we have a hard time differentiating letters like n and m.
Visual Memory – Evaluates the ability to visually remember the characteristics of an object after a brief presentation.
Visual-Spatial Relations – Evaluates the ability to see the difference among forms based on orientation. This is why some of us have a hard time recognizing b and d or p and q. Difficulty differentiating between in and out, over and under, and left and right, are because of spatial skill concepts.
Form Constancy – Evaluates the ability to see a form and find it among other forms, although it is sized differently or rotated. This is going to be a reason why some of us have trouble recognizing letters and numbers such as 6 and 9 or w and m.
Visual Sequential Memory – Evaluates the ability to remember a series of forms in their specific order of presentation. Difficulty sequencing the alphabet, or copying from one place to another, may be a problem with sequential memory. When copying sentences off the board, skipping words or copying one letter at a time is an indication that they are not seeing the word as a whole but instead each letter as an individual.
Visual Figure-Ground – Evaluates the ability to perceive a form visually, and to find this form hidden in a clutter of background such as finding the red crayon in a pencil box. The adult equivalent of using visual figure ground skills would be when we are rummaging through our junk drawer to find something we need.
Visual Closure – Evaluates the ability to fill in the missing details into an incomplete shape. This requires abstract problem solving. A good example of this is working on puzzles; being able to put a picture together in your mind and to piece it together correctly. This also will cause a problem with writing and spelling. With spelling, a child with visual closure deficits will not know the ends of the word or the middle of the word. For writing, a child with visual closure deficits will not be able to know if a word is complete.
Visual Directionality – Evaluates the understanding of laterality and directionality and the ability to write, recognize and match letters and numbers in their correct orientation. Confusion in this area may result in reversals of letters such as “b” and “d” and words such as “on” and “no” and “was” and “saw”. Directional responses need to be accurate and completely automatic. Delays in this area may result in difficulties reading and interpreting maps, directions and instructions. It will also slow down the speed of fluency or reading and writing.
Visual-Motor Integration – The ability to analyze visual information and reproduce with eyes and hands working together as paired learning tools for fine motor skills and handwriting. Efficient visual-motor integration supports optimal eye-hand coordination. A deficiency in visual-motor integration may result in increased difficulty with handwriting, copying from one place to another and reduced ability to express ideas in written form.
How long does testing take?
Testing takes approximately 2 hours and is scheduled in the morning before the eyes and brain are tired from a full day of school or work. We also like to do testing at this time, so you/your child has eaten a good, high protein meal and is most attentive. We try our best to fully engage you/your child and to make it as fun as possible. If a break is needed, or testing needs to be finished on another day, we will recommend this to get the best results possible. We do not “rush” the child. They should have ample time to finish. We find that the child has enough variety of activities during the testing that they can finish in one testing appointment 90% of the time.