Vision checklist for children

Here are some examples of common signs and behaviours which may indicate visual acuity or visual processing problems in children. If any of these signs or symptoms are noticed a full visual examination is recommended.

  • Child complains of blurred vision
  • Complains of headaches or eyestrain especially with near tasks
  • Close reading or writing distance
  • Poor reading comprehension which worsens with time
  • Squinting, blinking or holding the book close
  • Loses place often when reading or copying from the board
  • Skips words or lines, needs to use their finger as a guide
  • Excessive head movement when reading
  • Short attention span
  • Covers or closes eyes when reading
  • Unusual head turn or poor body posture when reading
  • Complains of words moving or jumbling on the page
  • Rubs eyes a lot
  • Difficulty knowing their own right from left
  • Persistent reversal of letters and numbers
  • Writes their name from right to left
  • Incorrect order of well known letter clusters
  • Difficulty recognising the same word repeated on a page
  • Mistakes words with similar beginnings
  • Poor spacing of writing and inability to stay on the line
  • Can respond orally but has difficulty producing written answers
  • Difficulty remembering what has been read
  • Reads slowly
  • Poor spelling
  • Difficulty copying
  • An eye that turns in or out
  • Feeling tired with reading
  • Watery eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Eyes bothered by light
  • Crooked or poorly spaced writing
  • Clumsiness or poor concentration
  • Blur changing from reading to distance viewing
  • Double vision