What is behavioural optometry?

Behavioural optometry considers visual motor and cognitive skills, assessing both the functioning of the eyes as well as the brain. 

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

What happens during a behavioural optometry test?

The eye test will include consideration of the following:

  • Measurement of near focus and eye coordination. This can impact visual comfort and performance when reading, writing and using computers.
  • Measurement of distance focus and ease, especially if there are symptoms of blurred vision when looking up from close work.
  • Assessment and treatment of lazy eye (amblyopia) and turned eye(strabismus). Assessment and treatment of tracking eye movement skills for reading fluency.
  • Assessment of vision perception, or processing, to ensure these abilities are normally developed for a patient’s age.
  • Assessment and management of visual issues associated with health or neurological conditions.
When should my child have an eye test?

We recommend that all children receive a routine eye examination prior to commencing school to ensure that there are no vision problems that would impede their ability to learn.  Thereafter, we recommend an eye examination every 18 months -3 years unless advised otherwise by an optometrist.

There is evidence that:

  • Many children with reading difficulties also have a vision problem*
  • One in five children have a vision problem that impacts on efficient learning*
  • These vision problems often relate to focusing and eye teaming*

*Reference: Position paper on Optometric Care for the Struggling Student for parents, educators and other professionals. American Academy of Optometry 2013