What is Vision Development?

At Envision Optical we aspire to care for your vision at all stages through life. We are experts in all vision and eye conditions, and unlike many optometrists we also have a special interest in the vision and visual performance of kids.

At Envision Optical we have children’s vision specialists available who are specially trained in behavioural optometry, where a greater emphasis is placed on hoent and management from a neuro-developmental perspective.

Many children have a vision problem, which significantly limits present performance and could limit future potentials, and yet they have no eye problem. They have healthy eyes internally and externally, no optical defects and have clear sight at six meters (100 per cent or 6/6 visual acuity), yet they are unable to effectively control and use their system to obtain ‘meaning’ from the environment.

The vision development process is a complex interaction of growth, experiences, learning and practice. Self-generated movements play a critical role in the development of efficient visual skills.

A normal healthy baby is born with the ability to see and move the eyes, but is initially stimulus bound. That is, the infant is attracted to light and stimulated to turn towards bright objects or moving objects that stand out. The infant also looks as a reflex response to noise or touch. At first the infant tends to move his head to look, but later moves eyes alone to look and follow whatever has stimulated them.

The baby touches what he or she sees and learns to associate the feel and look of objects.  Similarly, the baby puts objects into the mouth or smells or listens; so that an association occurs with all sensory inputs and what he or she sees. In time a baby can know how an object feels, sounds or tastes by looking alone. With practice, he or she learns accuracy of coordinating eye and hand movements. Experience of what is ‘far’ and what is ‘near’ comes from moving himself through space and seeing things from different points of view. Eventually judgments of distance, shape, size are refined and the infant learns that he can depend upon what he sees without the need to touch, mouth or taste.

As children develop, they learn to use their vision. Initially the conscious mind is significantly involved in both planning and managing appropriate visual responses. But later pre-programmed mechanisms for action and thinking processes free the conscious mind from the mechanics of the tasks. These processes enable greater comprehension and assimilation of the available information. When a child is experiencing school difficulties, one of the factors which should be carefully checked is the adequacy of the processes that underpin efficiently visually-directed behaviour and visual inspections.