Why isn't my child doing well at school?

By Ruth Simmons

Headaches, fear, anger, fatigue-all these horrible things were associated with my child and school. I never expected this when he was a gorgeous baby and toddler happily exploring the world. The worst part was he was reluctant to go school.

Some days I had to physically lift my child from his bed and sit him at the breakfast table, and then force him to get dressed piece by piece.

Reading did not come easily to him. He couldn’t concentrate! He would fuss and move about, until he would move away from anything that involved the printed word.

I tried tutoring and spent many hours trying to force him to sit down and read. There was clearly something wrong….

My research finally led me to a test of visual processing. I had no idea what that meant, but knew that my son’s behaviours fitted with many in the list of possible symptoms of visual stress.

Has trouble with reading? Definitely.

Has trouble concentrating? Absolutely!

Reluctant to go to school? Yep.

Has extreme fatigue after school? For sure.

Prone to occasional headaches? Yes.

All of these things I had no idea could be linked to a condition known as visual stress.

I had him assessed and was overwhelmed with relief, when firstly there was finally an explanation for his puzzling behaviour! I knew my boy was intelligent so I knew that his learning difficulty with reading was not to do with his intelligence. He simply suffers from visual stress.

For him the white paper or white background to print on the smartboard or whiteboard at school made reading very difficult. His brain didn’t process what he saw properly. Print looked distorted to him.

Once I found out how he saw the page, it was no wonder he was so upset about looking at the print! Now I have nothing but sympathy for him. I regret screaming at him in frustration.

I now have a new child. My son is happily learning to read - not because of the diagnosis of course, but thankfully, because there are interventions to help his condition.

He reads with the aid of coloured glasses. His tint is made precisely for his unique needs. The white colour of the background has offending colours in it that cause my son’s brain to not be able to see the print as it actually appears. Therefore, his coloured lenses simply filter out these offending colours that are hidden in white so that he can see the print clearly- without those distracting distortions.

What a wonderful godsend for our whole family! If your child suffers from similar symptoms and you would like to have them tested for visual stress, please don't hesitate to contact me to make a booking for an assessment. Assessments can be performed in-person or online via Zoom.

0427 463 401

Book an assessment, request a free pack or ask me a question, I'm always happy to chat!

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