Episode 13 – Eyes, Vision and Your Child

While good eyesight is clearly critical for the overall growth of your child, it probably isn’t as important to the development of your child’s learning abilities. However, with increasing screen times among children and other risk factors, your child’s vision might just be in danger. How can you assure that your child’s eyesight, and therefore his or her overall development, is protected? In this episode, Amy Fortescue, a behavioral optometrist from New South Wales will be helping parents who are interested in helping their children develop good eyesight.

Amy Fortescue graduated from the University of New South Wales with first class honors in 2010. From there, this brilliant eye doctor took several courses on behavioral optometry. According to her, this interest started back when she was just 15 years old. At that time, she was already working in her father’s optometry practice. Today, apart from being a mother to her 20-month old child, Amy is a clinical supervisor at the University of New South Wales Optometry Clinic. With a passion for children’s vision, eye disease management, and short-sightedness control, you are definitely in good hands with Amy’s expertise.

Key Learnings

What behavioral optometry is and why Aimee chose to specialize in this area
The difference between optometry and behavioral optometry
The relationship between visual function and learning
What usually happens when someone consults a general optometrist
The best age for a child’s first visit to an optometrist
Symptoms to look at for potential vision problems in children ages three and below
How vision function changes as a child grows
Government-sponsored vision screenings and how to make sense of them
How behavioral optometry could help children with learning difficulties
What vision therapy looks like and how it helps a child with vision difficulties
When or when not to give your child eyewear with colored overlays
The latest evidence on how screen time affects your child’s vision

Amy?s Practical Tips for Taking Good Care of Your Child?s Eyes

Encourage your child to take rest breaks. Take 20-second breaks between 20 minutes of work. During this rest time, encourage your child to look at things more than 20 meters away.
Teach your child to work, read, or use gadgets at the right distance, ideally about half an arm’s length from whatever they are doing.
Bring your child to an optometrist at least every two years.
Encourage your child to spend more time outdoors, about an hour and a half, away from screens and video games.


“Visual function and visual processing are both critical for good reading.”

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Any information and links presented within the Chatabout Children™ with Sonia Bestulic podcast are aimed to provide general information and advice only.
Information is to be used at the discretion of the consumer/ listener. The information presented does not replace or substitute the expert advice received from a direct consultation with the relevant qualified professional.


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