Sight is incredibly important for learning

Did you know that visual input accounts for 80% of learning*? If the eyes are not working efficiently it could seriously affect the way that information is processed.


What is behavioural optometry?

Behavioural optometry is an extended area of optometry which considers visual motor and visual cognitive skills and assesses both the functioning of the eyes as well as the brain.

The holistic approach assesses how a child processes and interprets visual information and helps detect common eye problems that may accompany or contribute to learning difficulties.

Once a functional visual problem has been identified, the optometrist will outline the benefits of prevention, protection and enhancement for your child’s visual system.

  • Prevent vision and eye problems from developing
  • Provide treatment for vision problems that have already developed
  • Develop and enhance the visual skills needed in the classroom

What are some signs I should look out for in my child?

  • Blurry vision or words
  • Eyestrain
  • Tiredness
  • Sore eyes
  • Red and itchy eyes
  • Headaches
  • Other symptoms associated with eyestrain and visual performance
  • Poor reading
  • Sudden drop in school performance
  • Loss of concentration at near tasks

What happens during the behavioural optometry test?

Our child-friendly approach and testing equipment are designed to make your child’s visit pleasant and stress-free:

  • A comprehensive assessment for your child’s individual visual needs will involve education and exercises and may involve being prescribed stress-relieving glasses.
  • Very occasionally the optometrist may need to put drops in the eyes to get a better look. The drops may have mild sting for about 15-20 seconds. This is the only part of the examination that may be uncomfortable and is not needed for most patient examinations.
  • Potentially, the optometrist may recommend Vision Therapy to improve visual efficiency & comfort, and to improve visual information processing skills and speed.
  • One of the eye tests involves reading single letters. For children who aren’t confident with their letters the optometrist will use other targets such as simple picture charts.

What to bring to the test?

  • Glasses, if already wearing them.
  • Reports from the school or any other health care professional you have seen such as an educational psychologist, occupational therapist, speech therapist or another optometrist. The results of standardised testing (like the WISC) are very helpful.
  • Examples of handwriting or other work that may be an issue.


Early diagnosis means at-risk children can enjoy normal, healthy brain development and reach their full potential as adults. Treatments may include spectacles, coloured lenses and vision therapy including gross motor, final motor and visual information processing.

A comprehensive eye test can also encourage vision development that would otherwise fail to develop if there is no intervention with glasses and Vision Therapy.

Book an eye test

All G&M practices are equipped to deal with children’s vision, but advanced skills in Behavioural Optometry are available at:

Evian Optometrists by G&M Eyecare

Abel, Robson & Falkenstein by George & Matilda Eyecare

*American Optometric Association, School-aged Vision: 6 to 18 years of age,

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