With our newest Smart Vision team member now being 11 months old, we thought it was time to update you on her vision skills. Just like Riley has needed to learn to crawl, walk and talk, she has also had to learn to see.
EYES ON RILEY
Like all babies, Riley was born with fuzzy vision, seeing just far enough to make out the face of the person holding her. Around one month old, she started using her two eyes to track moving objects and around two months she started loving colours and high contrast patterns. At four months, Riley started to perceive depth and at five months she was recognising things and people without seeing all of them yet – hide and seek became her new favourite game (and still is). By eight months, Riley was recognising us easily from across a room and her vision is now close to that of an adult.
Given that sight is our most important and guiding sense, it should absolutely be monitored closely from birth. Visual impairments can lead to significant developmental delays and so a child’s eyes should be checked at birth and at each doctor appointment until their first eye test at 6 months of age.
Riley the rebellious had her first eye test at ten months, when she spent a day in the office observing all of her mother’s patients – preparing for her career as a vision therapist, no doubt. With patience, creativity and some great technology (a singing hippo on our big screen), our principal behavioural optometrist Gary Rodney was able to confirm that Riley’s eyes were focussing where they should be and working as a binocular team. Our tiny legend passed her first eye test with flying colours.
As she grows, Riley’s family – along with the entire Smart Vision team – will be watching to make sure that she meets all of her visual developmental milestones. The Australasian College of Behavioural Optometrists provides a comprehensive checklist for these milestones here.
Every child should undergo optometric assessments before they begin their schooling, and it is important to remember that the screening tests conducted at schools do not offer a full and comprehensive picture of the child’s visual development and function.
If you haven’t yet had your child’s eyes checked, we recommend you contact us and if you are worried about how their vision skills are progressing, do not fret. Vision is learnt and because it is learnt, it is trainable, which is where behavioural optometrists and vision therapists come in. Who knows? Riley might end up being your child’s vision therapist – she is very advanced! 🙂