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Preschool mobility and motor skills strongly linked to good vision, study finds

Children who show poorer motor skills at an early age may benefit from comprehensive eye exams.

Abnormal motor skills in toddlers, such as grasping, may be associated with poor vision as they reach preschool age, a new study involving South Australian researchers has found.

International experts in vision and neonatal development have found that the presence of astigmatism and abnormal motor functions at age two may be associated with poorer vision at age four and a half.

Researchers from Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Canada say in a new paper from Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics that abnormal motor skills such as inaccurate tracing, grasping, and grasping are warning signs.

Nicola Anstice, lead author from Flinders University, said vision problems go undetected in about one in four children.

“Children who show poorer motor skills at an early age can benefit from comprehensive eye exams to ensure these children get the best start in life, especially when it comes to reading and learning once let them start school,” she said.

“Existing clinical tests for vision in two-year-olds are not predictive of visual outcomes at 4.5 years, so we recommend the development of more sensitive tests for this.”

Author Dr Nabin Paudel, Center for Eye Research Ireland and University of Auckland, said mild to moderate vision loss affects many children and can have a negative impact on early literacy and a child’s academic success.

“Nevertheless, there is no consensus on factors present in early childhood that indicate the need for long-term ophthalmologic follow-up, particularly in children with a history of perinatal adversity,” he said. he declares.

Using a longitudinal study of vision and neurodevelopmental milestones in a cohort of 516 children at risk for perinatal adversity, researchers observed a direct correlation between poor motor scores at two years of age and perception reduced from depth (stereopsis) to four and a half years. and a half years.

The study identified the relationship between visual, cognitive, motor and demographic factors at age two and visual acuity and stereoacuity at age four and a half – paving the way for the development of a new approach to ophthalmic practice in the future, concludes the journal.

Their study is available here.

A team led by Professor Anstice is currently studying vision screening in South Australian school children aged 7-9 for the prevalence of impaired vision and to establish the best tests to use to identify primary school children with visual impairment.

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