Chattanooga Pediatric Optometrist: Parent’s checklist of visual problems

Published on
December 14, 2022

An estimated 25% of children have an underlying vision problem that goes undiagnosed. Approximately six children in a classroom are likely to be struggling because of an underlying vision problem.

Take our visual symptoms assessment to identify if your child indicates signs that they have a vision problem

Why is it important to talk to your child if you suspect they have a vision problem?

If you suspect that your child may have a vision problem, one of the most helpful things you can do as a parent is to speak to them about the things that they may be experiencing and struggling with. A few years ago, Dr. McBryar gave a lecture at a school, and one of the teachers who attended went home and talked to her family about the lecture and double vision. Her son told her that sometimes he doesn't know which football to catch, which indicates that he had double vision and was seeing two footballs at once on the field. He had just assumed the rest of the world saw things the same way as him, unaware that there was a problem. This is why Dr. McBryar recommends communicating with your kids first and understanding what symptoms to look out for.

It is also a good idea to speak with the teachers as well since they are in a unique position to observe your children doing different things during the day that involve vision, which you may not see at home.

Checklist of visual problems

Answers to the following questions will provide you with a valuable insight into how your child perceives, understands, and processes the world around them. This checklist can help determine what's really happening, because being able to function well at home and at school is the key to future success in any environment. 

Many of the following reading tasks indicate nearsightedness or overall vision problems.

If your child seems to:

  • Rub their eyes after reading or working with something up close
  • Tilt their head or lean in when reading or writing
  • Get tired easily
  • Use a pointer or finger to keep their place
  • Holds material too close to their eyes
  • Close one eye or squint
  • Read below grade level
  • Read the same line over and over in order to understand it
  • Avoid doing projects or homework
  • Frequently lose the place when reading
  • Bump into things and break them
  • Feel as though the words are moving or dancing across the page

Vision problems are frequently associated with the following behaviors.

Have you noticed if your child:

  • Frequently tilts their head to either side or consistently has one shoulder raised higher than the other
  • Often bumps into things or has “butterfingers”
  • Blinks or squints excessively
  • Reads with one eye closed or nearly closed
  • Repositions their head while reading, playing, or participating in athletics
  • Has one eye that moves differently or out of sync with the other
  • Finds it difficult to gauge distance between objects when walking through any space
  • Demonstrates poor hand-eye coordination
  • Often misplaces or loses things

If you think that your child or student may have an underlying vision problem, take our vision assessment 

What you should do with the completed checklist

Once you get their input, you can use that to complete a symptom checklist. The next step is to take that checklist to one of our developmental optometrists in Chattanooga, TN, who can help review the checklist and conduct a pediatric eye exam or an in depth developmental vision evaluation to determine if your child has a vision problem that could benefit from a vision therapy program.

Schedule a pediatric eye exam at Amplify EyeCare Chattanooga, the leading provider of pediatric eye care services in the Chattanooga area 

If your child exhibits one or more of the above listed visual symptoms, they might be suffering from a visual problem. We invite you to schedule a pediatric eye exam with our pediatric eye doctor, so that we can make an accurate diagnosis and recommend the appropriate treatment and management plan for your child. You can schedule a pediatric eye exam by calling (423) 710 3965. Patients looking for pediatric eye exam visit our clinic from all over Tennessee, and we are proud to be a leading provider of pediatric eye care services for patients from Hixson, Chattanooga, Cleveland, and Middle Valley.


Vision therapy is well worth the response, time and effort. Our Son had a hard time focusing and writing neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time if previously took. His abilities to focus improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent, we wanted learning to be fun for our Son, and vision therapy made this possible.

Amanda T.

Vision Therapy is well worth the expense, time and effort. Our son had a hard time focusing handwriting neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time it previously took his abilities to focus and improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent you wanted learning to be fun for our son and vision therapy made this possible.

Alexa H.

Vision Therapy has given or son the tools he needs to be able to scan and read the written word more effectively and efficiently.

He love working with John and these working sessions give him the motivation to gladly work on his homework assignments.

It amazed us to see the difference in the tracking of his eyes and along a line of it's from the beginning to the end of the treatment.

Dr. McBryar , Kristen and John  are all marvelous and we would recommend them to anyone I only wish that we would have found them sooner!

Charlotte M.

Prior to coming to the institute for vision development my son complained of daily headaches. Therapy has eliminated his headaches completely. I love knowing my son is able to learn pain-free for the rest of his life because of the work that has been done over just a few weeks in this office. He he absolutely loved coming that didn't even feel like going to a doctor or therapy. We are grateful for the relief he was able to find by coming here.

Thank you!

Olivia C.

Seems much less frustrated with life

Reads non-stop and fast

Spelling abilities have been hugely improved

Seems much more confident

Thank You!!!

Kelly O.

When we first came to the practice, my son did not have huge issues, but lots of small ones- trouble with reading, sports (hitting the baseball consistently), coordination, etc- that were not easily detectable,but when put together presented issues. The staff here were all very professional and loving towards him. While I was concerned in the reading, my son was concerned with the athletic side. Seeing improvement night off the bat gave him confidence that i have nor seen in him and made him want to not only Come to therapy, but also made him want to work hard. He has surpassed his grade level and above in reading and hit his first home run this year! Thank you!!!

Alice M.
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