OBJECTIVE. To compare visual and visual-information processing skills between children with and without mild reading and academic problems and examine the incidence of visual deficits among them.

METHOD. Seventy-one seventh graders classified as proficient (n = 46) and nonproficient (n = 25) readers were compared with respect to scores on an accepted vision screening, on tests of visual-perception, visual-motor integration, and academic performance. Further, academic performance and visual-information processing were compared between children who failed and passed the vision screening.

RESULTS. Visual deficits were found in 68% of the participants, and among significantly more boys than girls. Nonproficient readers had significantly poorer academic performance and vision-screening scores than the proficient readers. Participants who passed the visual screening performed significantly better in visual perception than those who failed.

CONCLUSION. Visual function significantly distinguishes between children with and without mild academic problems, as well as on visual-perception scores. The high occurrence of visual deficits among participants warrants consideration of vision deficits among schoolchildren with academic performance difficulties.

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