We tend to assume a child can see okay unless something obvious shows us they can't. But also consider whether the child uses their sight well. And what happens when a child has missed out on the normal development of vision? Because just know that vision is part of development along with everything else about a child growing. It is not a matter of being able to see or not. I won't go into the detail, but to begin with a child sees movements, shape and colours. And then vision grows and develops alongside cognitive development. Basically this means that when we know what we are seeing, then we see it. For example, if you see a tree in the distance, you know it is a tree. but if you don't know its a tree then what do you see. And what about that other blob....is that a tree also? There needs to be some unconscious knowledge about categories as well as to make a choice of what that blob could be.
When a child has missed out on early seeing and pairing this with development of knowledge, and is then given glasses, can s/he see immediately? Much improved vision but seeing?? Actually there is a whole gap in knowledge about what is being seen.
And the other gap, is that of using vision. By this, I mean, using vision to look for something, using vision to pair it with auditory information and using vision to track. When a child has such a gap, then these 3 things need to be addressed. So the child might be unused to moving the eyes to track, so they need to learn this. They might be unused to systematically searching for something, so they need to be taught this. They might not know to look towards a sound so they need to be taught this.
If the child has a condition such as dyspraxia, this will affect their ability to motor plan the movements necessary to track people and objects. Some days the plan of the movements will be automatic and other days it won't be. Planning eye movements to read is likely to be affected. The child may skip words because they don't actually see them or because their eyes make jumps instead of moving smoothly along the line. Planning eye movements to be systematic about searching for something can be difficult and lead to frustration. For example, in searching a page for an item, or for a matching letter/shape/colour, the looking may happen irregularly across and down the page, meaning that parts are not scanned and therefore the item is not found.
There is a lot that can be done to develop a child's ability to see. A few ideas which may apply:
1. Matching activity: Matching single cards onto a board of 9 or 12. Teach the child, using your finger to start at the top left and scan each picture across the top row, then the next.....like reading.
2. Hide a toy under one of 3/4 containers in front of the child, without him/her seeing. Teach the child to look at each container until they find it. Of course the child also needs a working memory so that they remember what container they have already looked at.
3. Encourage the child to watch a train go past, or an aeroplane or a car or a dog. Keep talking about it so their attention remains riveted on the vehicle.
4. Make a game of finding things you can see indoors and outside.
5. Search for hidden items in a coloured picture.
6. Point one to one to each word as they learn to read.
7. Find the differences in 2 pictures.
8. Copy simple block structures of 6 or 8 blocks.
9. Copy simple patterns - drawing or blocks.