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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Why is it important to have my child's eyes examined before they start school

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1


    At Somer Toprak Optometrist we offer top quality eyecare and the latest in exclusive designer frames. Eye tests for MD, cataracts, glaucoma and children's vision. … View Profile

    There are many eye disorders which can prevent kids from achieving their best, and those early developing years are the most important which eventually shape how well a child performs at school. There is no minimum age to wait for your child's first eye test, but an eye exam at least before they start school is a very good idea.

    Common eye problems can manifest as headaches (particularly when doing close-work), or children using funny words to describe what  they see (the words are “fizzy” or “jumpy”). We find that commonly, rather than complain to their parents, kids will cease doing an activity that requires too much visual effort. These issues can be picked up on their first eye exam.

  • Shannon Storey

    Occupational Therapist (OT)

    My passion for working with children with disabilities and their families has developed over the past five years. Since graduating from Sydney University, I have … View Profile

    In order for your chid to be able to learn to read and write, their eyes need to be able to perform the following: 
    Eye Movement
    Ability for the eyes to track left and right; similar to that needed for reading 
    Ability to fixate (or focus) on an object, and not be easily distracted 
    The ability for the eyes to move inward simultaneously 
    Vestibular Occular Reflex
    The ability to maintain focus on a point whilst the head is rotated side-to-side (important for sports and coordination)

    Having your child's eyes checked before beginning school will ensure that they will be prepared to effectively learn.

    For more information please visit 

    Kind regards
    Shannon Storey

  • Aimee York

    Occupational Therapist (OT)

    Aimee is a fully registered occupational therapist, with a special interest area in paediatrics and mental health. She is experienced in the assessment and intervention … View Profile

    From an occupational therapists perspective, having your child's vision (and hearing) checked prior to start of school is very important to eliminate any organic concerns with these sensory systems. Often an OT will then assess how well your child can process visual information (ie. they can see perfectly well "20/20 vision" but how they then interpret and respond to that visual information). This may include how the track moving objects, hand-eye coordination ("visual motor integration"), quick localisation, crossing the midline with their eyes (important for reading left to right) amongst other skills.

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