What is behavioural optometry?

Whereas conventional optometry concentrates on correcting visual errors (often focusing on refractive errors or sight defects alone) and the health of the eye, the behavioural optometrist goes far beyond that to take into consideration how vision has developed, whether there are problems with the developmental process and how this is impacting on the visual system or may impact on the visual system in the future.

As over 80% of our learning comes through vision, an efficient visual systems plays an integral part in how we learn and acquire information in school, play and the workplace.

Typically, the behavioural optometrist will attempt to understand the developmental processes and health of the child during early childhood combining this with information on movement development and intellectual development. Using this information the behavioural optometrist can understand what is happening currently and see whether there are steps that can be taken to enhance visual processing.

When the optometrist has developed an understanding of the visual processing of an individual, the optometrist can then go on to formulate processes that can help the individual to use their information more efficiently, this may involve glasses, altering learning strategies and working through a vision therapy programme to enhance visual processes. These are all evidence based strategies with proven success that can transform how and child not only learns – but often how they feel about learning.

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