Distance Learning

Stephen E. Chase OD, F.C.O.V.D.
22850 Crenshaw Blvd. #104
Torrance, Ca 90505
(310) 539-1210
Email: familyvcc@gmail.com
Website: drstephenchase.com


Many of you have contacted the office with concerns about your children doing distance learning in this time of the pandemic. Your concerns are valid as our mine. First of all there some kids that can slide effortlessly into distance learning but the majority cannot.

As we know most learning is more effective when there is movement involved in the learning environment. That is why at school we have recess, lunch, breaks between subjects, movement activities in the classroom and other helps. So to expect a child to sit still and look at a computer for long periods of time is difficult. Not only that, most of our kids are turning to technology devices for entertainment when not doing distance learning. Outside activities, including sports, have almost completely evaporated due to the circumstances.

Therefore we find ourselves in a situation that is causing much stress in the visual system due to prolonged close work. There are symptoms noted such as; blurred vision, rubbing of eyes, tiredness, decreased attention, headaches, red eyes, and such. We are seeing stress in the child due to no movement and starring at a screen with close to no interaction from the child themselves. We may find them acting out, more grumpy, lethargic, poor posture, and other outward behaviors.

We are providing a list of things which can be beneficial in helping you and your child have a more successful experience while distance learning is still in force. We understand that not all the suggestions can and should be incorporated but using a few should greatly help.

1. Use appropriate lenses for the computer. Many children can benefit from anti stress lenses to be used at the computer. Also in some cases lenses that have been tinted to block blue light are helpful.
2. Minimize number of lines per slides and on worksheets (more white space).
3. Proper posture. No slouching, laying head on desk or arm, both feet on the ground.
4. Written along with verbal instructions for worksheets and assignments (confirm child understands what they have to do).
5. Print worksheets so they can be done on paper vs the screen.
6. Visual breaks (20/20/20). Breaks every 20 minutes.
7. Engage peripheral with clues (have some stimulus off to sides to stimulate your child’s peripheral vision allowing a refreshing of his or her constant fixation on the screen).
8. Movement breaks. Allow your child to get up and move around.
9. Get outside. Go for walks. Run around the back yard playing tag or ball catching. Let them do homework outside on a table. They need sunlight!!
10. Hydrate. Make sure your child drinks enough water during each session.
11. Ergonomics of computer set up so screen not higher than the height of your child’s eyes. They should be gazing slightly downward when looking at the computer.
12. Ideally a room with a window so they can look outside for periodic visual breaks.
13. Feet should rest on the floor or a footstool.
14. Sit on a therapy ball or wobble cushion. This allows then to keep their equilibrium and also stimulate core posture while working. It also allows for some movements.
15. Slant board for writing.

We hope that this helps your child and you make the best of an unprecedented situation.

Stephen Chase O.D.,F.C.O.V.D. and staff

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