When it comes to behavioural problems in schools, teachers and parents often look for emotional or social causes. However, sometimes bad behaviour in the classroom is down to a physical issue like poor vision. If you feel like your child's teacher never stops raising behaviour complaints, it could be time for a children's eye examination. Here are 3 classroom conduct problems to look out for.
Being Disruptive During Lessons
Does your child talk too much in class? Has their teacher complained that they frequently interrupt others, fidget, or act in ways that distract their classmates and put the lesson on hold? While such problems are often attributed to a lack of discipline or a neurodevelopmental disorder like ADHD, they can also be caused by poor vision. Children with healthy vision find it easy to get on with their work because electrical impulses in the brain tell it to focus on the activity it's looking at. Children who struggle to see don't get this same input, which makes it a lot harder for them to pay attention. For children with eye problems, focusing on class work can range from laborious and boring to difficult or almost impossible. Instead of getting on with learning, such children may be disruptive in class to fill time or to distract themselves from the visual issues they're having.
Struggling to Get On With Others
Some children with vision problems also have difficulty getting on with others in the classroom. This may manifest as refusal to talk to or work with classmates or even as arguments with and aggression towards other children and teachers. This is often caused by an inability to see well enough to recognise the facial expressions and emotional cues that govern conversation. Failure to make friends or bond with teachers can also come as a result of a child putting too much energy into trying to discern their surroundings and not enough into talking and listening. When anger and aggression is at play, the cause is usually the frustration that comes with not being able to see well.
Failing to Complete Work
Consistently incomplete work is one of the biggest signs that your child needs to see an optometrist given that there are many potential causes that relate to vision. One reason, as mentioned about, is that the child struggles to focus on work due to strained visual input. This can make reading and writing take longer or interfere with your child's ability to understand the information presented to them. These students may also lose track of what they're writing halfway through the task; the time they spend trying to reread their work and figure out where they are is time taken away from finishing the activities. In addition, some children with visual difficulties tend to lose things like pens and worksheets frequently. Teachers may assume the child is naughty and losing things on purpose, but it's easy to misplace such small items when you can't see well. Finally, embarrassment can also be a major cause of unfinished work. Children may feel ashamed of having poor handwriting due to visual difficulties, or they might be worried about getting answers wrong if they can't read the instructions properly.