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 because children develop at different rates. However, if you have concerns about whether your child’s vision is developing appropriately, consider scheduling a functional vision exam. 

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