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"How can I tell if my child needs glasses?"
My daughter is five years old and is in Kindergarten. I noticed that when she watches TV, I constantly have to tell her to move back away from the TV. She does so without complaining. This has been going on for several months. The other day I got a call from her classroom teacher, saying that she had to move her from the back row of seating to the front row because she has been writing some wrong letters and numbers on her papers. She is a very smart child and has always written her alphabet and numbers correctly. The teacher suggested that I take her to the eye doctor have her eyes checked. I have never noticed her needing help seeing things before this, other than sitting too close to the TV. Why did I not catch this sooner?
It definitely sounds like there are a few red flags here that suggest your daughter needs an eye evaluation. These include the fact that she is moving very close to the television when watching her shows and the report from her classroom teacher that she is having trouble seeing the board. Taken together, these are sufficient to recommend a formal evaluation by an eye doctor. Nearsightedness is fairly common in children. It tends to develop later, but it can also develop at this young age. It is often unmasked as the child's social interactions become more demanding and require better visual acuity. It is not uncommon at all for the first signs of nearsightedness to be exactly the ones that your daughter is experiencing. I'd recommend going to see an eye doctor as soon as you can. It sounds like your daughter is very bright and, at the age of 5 years, she should be able to cooperate very well with the eye examination, giving an accurate result. If you have more questions or concerns about this issue, you could also talk to your daughter's regular pediatrician, but I definitely would not delay the eye examination too much longer.
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