child’s eyesight may be good, but his vision may be
As a parent or a teacher, you must be able to make
this distinction. Most children have healthy eyes.
They can score an easy 6/6 on the eye charts. Even
if one eye is a little near – or farsighted and the
other is not – that is ‘sight’
‘Vision’ however, is a different thing. If for
instance one eye is a little farsighted and the
other one is a little nearsighted, they are not able
to work together as a team.
The message they send to the brain is confusing. One
eye delivers one message to the brain and the other
eye delivers another. This is only one example of
confusion of two eyes not working together.
To a child this is like being told by the father to
do one thing and by the mother to do another. So the
child is faced with a dilemma. Which parent (which
eye message) does he listen to? This is called ‘lack
A teacher can expect to find symptoms of it in about
5% of the classroom.
Lack of teaming is only one of a number of vision
problems that can affect learning and behaviour.
One of the most fearful oversights in medicine,
education and psychology today is the neglect of
children’s vision systems. We routinely test for
‘eyesight’ but rarely for ‘vision imbalances’.
Eye teaming skills (binocular fusion): This
is the ability to coordinate and align the eyes
precisely so that the brain can fuse the input it
receives from each eye. Even a slight misalignment
can cause double vision, which in turn, the brain
may try to eliminate by suppressing the use of one
In one way or another, the brain will react in a
disturbed or in a defensive manner to confusing
signals from the eyes.
By: Ina Du Plessis