Vision skills at different ages

Expected Visual Performance

Birth to 6 weeks of age:

__Stares at surroundings when awake
__Momentarily holds gaze on bright light or bright objects
__Blinks at camera flash
__Eyes and head move together
__One eye may seem turned in at times


8 weeks to 24 weeks:

__Eyes begin to move more widely with less head movement
__Eyes begin to follow moving objects or people (8-12 weeks)
__Watches parents’ faces when being talked to (10-12 weeks)
__Begins to watch own hands (12-16 weeks)
__Eyes moving in active inspection of surroundings (18-20 weeks)
__While sitting, looks at hands, food, bottle (18-24 weeks)
__Now looking for, and watching, more distant objects (20-28 weeks)


30 weeks to 48 weeks

__May turn eyes inward while inspecting hands or toys (28-32 weeks)
__Eyes more mobile and move with little head movement (30-36 weeks)
__Watches activities around him or her for longer periods of time (30-36 weeks)
__Looks for toy he or she has dropped (32-38 weeks)
__Visually inspects toys he or she can hold (38-40 weeks)
__Creeps after favorite toy when seen (40-44 weeks)
__Sweeps eyes around room to see what is happening (44-48 weeks)
__Visually responds to smiles and voices of others (40-48 weeks)
__More and more visual inspection of objects and persons (46-52 weeks)


12 Months to 18 Months

__Now using both hands and visually steering hand activity (12-14 months)
__Visually interested in simple pictures (14-16 months)
__Often holds objects very close to eyes to inspect (14-18 months)
__Points to objects or people using words “look” or “see” (14-18 months)
__Looks for and identifies pictures in books (16-18 months)


24 months to 36 months

__Occasionally visually inspects without needing to touch (20-24 months)
__Smiles, facial brightening when views favorite objects and people (20-24 months)
__Likes to watch movement of wheels, egg beaters, etc. (24-28 months)
__Watches own hand while scribbling (26-30 months)
__Visually explores and steers own walking and climbing (30-36 months)
__Watches and imitates other children (30-36 months)
__Can now begin to keep coloring on the paper (34-38 months)
__“Reads” pictures in books (34-38 months)


40 Months to 48 Months

__Brings head and eyes close to page of book while inspecting (40-44 months)
__Draws and names circle and cross on paper (40-44 months)
__Can close eyes on request, and may be able to wink one eye (46-50 months)


4 years to 5 years

__Uses eyes and hands together well and with increasing skill
__Moves and rolls eyes in an expressive way
__Draws and names pictures
__Colors within lines
__Cuts and pastes quite well on simple pictures
__Copies simple forms and some letters
__Can place small objects in small openings
__Passes all the milestones described on preceding pages
__Visually alert and observant of surroundings
__Tells about places, objects or people seen elsewhere
__Shows increasing visual interest in new objects and places

Remember, the ages shown here are approximate. However, if a child does fall behind the scale by more than 4 to 6 weeks from age 2 to age 5, or more than 6 weeks from age 2 to age 5, consider scheduling a functional vision exam.




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