Test-taking can be tough for kids with vision problems

June 14, 2018

(HealthDay)—A lazy eye? Crossed eyes? New research suggests that children with such vision problems may take longer to complete standardized tests.

The study included 85 , average age 10. Of those, 47 had lazy eye (amblyopia), 18 had been treated for crossed eyes (strabismus), and 20 had no vision issues.

Lazy eye is when one eye does not develop normal sight during childhood, often because of crossed eyes. Without treatment, these children will never see well in that one eye, even with glasses. With crossed eyes, the eyes may cross or drift up or out.

Two percent of American children suffer from lazy eye, while 2 percent to 4 percent have crossed eyes, according to the National Center for Children's Vision and Eye Health.

In the study, the children were told to transfer 40 pre-marked correct answers from a standardized reading test booklet to a multiple-choice answer form as quickly as possible without making mistakes or reading the text.

Children with or crossed eyes took 28 percent longer to complete the task than those without eye conditions, said study author Krista Kelly, from the Retina Foundation of the Southwest, in Dallas.

The study was published online June 14 in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology.

Kelly's team noted in a journal news release that they did not test the children to determine if they had dyslexia.

Tina Gao, from the School of Optometry and Vision Science at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, noted in an accompanying commentary that "further research is needed to identify the underlying factors leading to potential visuomotor deficits, and this knowledge can then be used to identify the children who perform significantly worse than the normal range."

According to Gao, "These children can be provided with appropriate and effective treatments for any visual or visuomotor deficits, as well as suitable academic accommodations when needed."

But, she added, "A blanket policy based on hellip; history alone, without considering the current performance of the individual child, would not produce equitable outcomes."

Explore further: Kids should be screened for lazy eye by age 5

More information: JAMA Ophthalmology, news release, June 14, 2018; June 14, 2018, JAMA Ophthalmology, online

The American Academy of Ophthalmology has more on childhood eye diseases and conditions.

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