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A retrospective analysis of the relationshi between reading and math abilities and visual function in a Hispanic elementary age population

1 December 2004


Although much research has been done on the relationship between vision and learning, there is still much debate regarding which tests should be done during a vision screening to accurately identify those children whose academic performance is being affected by their visual skills. In an attempt determine which tests would best predict academic performance, we analyzed records from a vision screening on a group of school aged children from San Blas, Mexico. 447 children, ages 5 to 13, were given a free vision screening. Their teachers were asked to rate each child's performance in reading and math on scale of 1 to 5. Those findings were then compared to the child's near visual acuity, near cover test, near point of convergence, stereo acuity, and refractive error. No clinically significant correlation was found between those visual skills measured and academic performance as rated by each child's teacher. This could be partly due to the limited tests performed. Future screenings that include tests of visual skills, such as saccadic eye movements and visual motor integration, which directly affect a child's ability to read and learn, would probably be better predictors of academic performance than those tests performed at our screening.


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