I Can’t Believe My Eyes! Screen Time and its Relationship to Vision Function in Young Learners

Research has increasingly shown that vision, a crucial way in which we process the world around us, is much more complex than traditionally understood. Conventional vision examinations do not capture this complexity, and as a result, many problems often remain undetected.

In addition to these undetected problems, the connection between vision and learning is not widely understood. The vast majority of learning relies heavily on a well-developed and diverse set of visual processing skills – examples include reading, copying from the board, or playing games that require hand-eye coordination. Children who struggle with vision problems often exhibit symptoms such as short attention spans, poor coordination, difficulty reading, writing and/or sitting still, which are frequently misdiagnosed due to their similarity to other learning difficulties such as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and dyslexia.

Anecdotal evidence from practitioners seeing a relatively rapid increase in vision problems suggests that this is driven by a change in children’s environments. Although the reasons are bound to be multifaceted, a worldwide increase in screen time amongst children raises questions about the extent to which this is a significant cause of poor vision function.

This paper first outlines the basic ‘functional’ vision skills, which are vital for accurate and efficient visual processing but are not measured by conventional vision screening examinations. Two case studies are presented that illustrate how vision dysfunction can manifest itself in student behavior and work. Following this, the relationship between screen time and vision function is explored, using a data set from a behavioral optometry practice based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The Changed Mind

Blinded by the lights of technology and a world racing ahead with new inventions, how many of us count the stars, find the constellations, watch the moon or simply contemplate the vastness of the heavens? The mysteries of the night, total blackness and the night creatures are no longer a major part of growing up.

Just wired differently – New Straights Times 14/07/2014

HILARY Craig hands me a sheet of paper and tells me to read the sentence: “god yzal eht revo spmuj xof nworb kciuq ehT”. Surely it’s one huge typo.

It doesn’t help when she continues to urge me to read it. I am confused and start to think I’m stupid. If this continues, I have no doubt I will become frustrated and angry that I cannot decipher what I suspect is an easy sentence. Craig is trying to help me understand what a child who learns things differently, goes through. The sentence reads: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”

Don’t stop believing: Helping children who learn differently to progress – The Star 6/6/2014

At eight, Philip could not read. His parents were exasperated. Most children are able to rattle off a dozen different words from their favourite story books by the age of five, so why not their son? 

His inability to read weighed on his parents’ minds, but it was years later before Hilary Craig realised that her parenting skills did little to help her now 40-year-old son Philip. It turned out that he had severe dyslexia but Craig could not help him overcome his problems.

Sentres of Attention – Expatriate Lifestyle Feb. 2014

When you speak to Hilary Craig you realise, very quickly, that you’re speaking to an expert. You realise that you’re speaking to someone with a very rare understanding of and sympathy for an education segment that is rarely allowed the attention it needs and deserves. The founder of Hils Learning Centre in Solaris Mont Kiara, Irish national Hilary is the go-to lady for special educational needs in Malaysia.

Overcoming Learning Difficulties With Confidence: Parenthood – Back to School, Jan. 2014

Every child differs individually – while some might be able to solve complicated math equations. the others might be better in writing. Children who can swim well, might not be able to dance as gracefully as the rest.They each have their own way to ace. However, for children with learning difficulties. such as Dyslexic. Dyscalculia (also known as math disability),Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), their gifts are often suppressed, while being misunderstood and labelled as 0 slow learner, or a lazy student in school which lead them to further believe that they ore just not good enough.

Learning with a difference – Focus Malaysia – People & Living – Nov. 2013

THE joy of having a child is something special and shared by the whole family but what happens when you learn that your child has learning difficulties, is not able to attend school or refuses to pick up any books to read? It can be a daunting task trying to understand what is wrong with your child and in Asian communities where even the learning environment is terribly competitive, having a child who is different can be daunting.

Happiness Is Learning Success – ABW Magazine July/August 2010

There is a belief that school days should be the best of your life, a time when you can be carefree and happy. Learning should and can be fun, indeed, it frequently is but as a teacher myself I know that it can be difficult to engage every child in a classroom however much you try, frustratingly there are always one or two who however hard you try seem to slip through the net. If you feel your child might not be doing as well at school as they might and are not happy, you might be as pleasantly surprised as I was to know that there is help, right here in KL (Mont Klara, in fact).

Malaysia Airlines ‘Looking in’ feature on Hilary Craig – Feb 2010

I arrived in KL in 1997; my husband Victor was working as an airport planner for KL International Airport (KLIA), and I was a teacher at an international school. After five years at the school, I started doing freelance teacher training in the city and all around the region. My clients began asking me to help their kids with learning challenges, ranging from dyslexia to Asperger’s syndrome.

Dyslexia – the Inside Story

We hear the term dyslexic and we know it has something to do with difficulty with print and language. Our children may be defined as dyslexic and have problems with spelling, reading, writing, organisation, numbers or sequence. So, what is it like to be dyslexic? Like the individuality of each human, it is enormously varied and presents differently in every person who is dyslexic. For one person the decoding of words for reading is the problem. For another the decoding is easy but comprehension is missing. The physical task of writing is hard for some and for others spelling correctly is the difficult part.