Vision Development

Your child's development of its visual system is important to us at Artisan Optics in Boise Idaho


The eyes are pretty remarkable and complex, essentially they take light signals and turn them into images that we process. The visual pathway is integrated within 40% of our brain. The eyes develop from three different embryonic tissue. While a vast majority of anatomical development occurs in-utero the eyes continue to develop after birth.



Get your child the best pediatric vision care at Artisan Optics in Boise Idaho


If you have ever been around a newborn infant you may have noticed their eyes don't seem to focus on anything intently. At this time an infants point of focus is between 8 to 10 inches in front of their face. They are drawn to high contrast targets and faces. Interestingly enough while they prefer these targets they are unable to differentiate between two objects and readily switch focus at this age. However, their visual skills rapidly increase.


During the first four months of life the following visual changes occur:

  • The eyes will become more coordinated. However, initially the eyes do not always team together and intermittent eye turns are normal. Please keep in mind that if there is a constant eye turn during this time period a thorough evaluation is indicated.

  • The infant will be able to start following large slow moving targets with their eyes.

  • The infant will begin to focus on more facial features

  • The infant will be able to appreciate a greater variety of colors

  • The infant will be able to see objects that are further away


After the fourth month the erratic eye movements should begin to subside and the ocular posture should be more aligned. This new ocular coordination is evident during the next four months.


During months five through eight the following visual changes occur:

  • Color vision improves and the infant is able to appreciate more hues and shades of color.

  • Depth perception develops, and an infant is able to determine different depths and orientation of objects in space.

  • Eye-hand coordination begins to develop


Vision continues to improve throughout infancy. This vision improvement can increase the infants motivation to explore their environment and crawl.


The next four months of vision development involves coordination of motor skills. An infant will begin to crawl, pull to a standing position and walk. During a child's first year of life, it is important to have a comprehensive eye examination. Please see the previous blog “The First Eye Examination.


Following the first year of life vision development continues. That's right, just like an infomercial there is more! The macula, the center of best vision, doesn't fully develop until the age of three. While visual acuity continues to improve a child may not fully appreciate 20/20 vision until three years of age. Their binocular skills and depth perception continue to improve.


Vision is much more than visual clarity and binocularity, it also plays a part in visual perceptual skills. Visual perceptual skills really begin to develop around age 4. These skills are as follows:

  • Form discrimination: the ability to identify similarities and differences in size, shape, pattern, form, position and color – to notice detail differences.

  • Spatial relations: the ability to judge the relative position of one object to another and the internal awareness of the two sides of the body (where is my body in relation to space, others and objects) and the orientation of objects.

  • Object recognition (Visual Agnosia): this can interfere with the ability to consistently recognize letters, numbers, symbols, words or pictures.

  • Figure ground: the ability to locate a figure or distinct shape against a busy background (such as crowded numbers or words on a page).

  • Visual closure: the ability to identify or recognize a symbol or object without seeing all of the object or details (the ability to know a word without needing to look at each individual letter every time the word reappears).

  • Form constancy: the ability to recognize numbers, letters and shapes when they are made larger, smaller or turned a different direction.

  • Visual memory: the ability to remember forms (letters) and sequences of forms (words) and recognize them quickly when you see them again in print.

  • Whole / part relationships: the ability to perceive the relationship between the pieces that make up the whole.


Please see more about visual perceptual skills on Advanced Vision Therapy's website,


The eye is complex and its development is a complex process and continues throughout childhood. Vision examinations are important to make sure this development is occurring on target, if intervention is indicated it may be more effective early on.


It is important to make sure your child is hitting their visual benchmarks as they grow at Artisan Optics in Boise Idaho


Posted by Artisan Optics at 7/25/2016 3:50:00 PM
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