Behavioural Optometry

The way you measure a society’s soul is by the way that it treats its children.
Nelson Mandela

Issue No. 92 – 30th July 2010

Welcome to Kidz Newz especially to all new subscribers.  Kidz Newz is a regular newsletter with information and teaching tips for anyone involved with young children. You are receiving this because you have attended one of my workshops, purchased a book, or you have requested to be on the mailing list. Thank you. Please forward this to anyone you feel it may be of interest to. Feedback is welcome.

PD Update

Let’s Just Play

Tuesday 31st August 2010 – 3.30-5.30pm, Connolly Community Centre, Glenelg Place, Connolly (Perth, Western Australia) – Cost: $66.00

This workshop will focus on simple equipment to engage children’s interest, such as scarves, ribbon sticks, balls and hoops, parachutes and rainbow rings. Engaged children learn better. Suitable for music specialists, teachers of K-3 and childcare workers.

Book directly with me at or 0410 642 781 or via the website. Flyers with enrolment form attached will be sent to local schools next week.

Employment Opportunity – Be your own boss!

Looking for a part-time teaching opportunity? Love working with children? Love teaching music and movement? I am looking for people to train to run their own business as Kidz-Fiz-Biz operators. Good retruns and lots of fun. If this is something of interest to you now or in the future, please contact me at or phone 0410 642 781.

Behavioural Optometry

Children with visual processing problems can have serious learning difficulties which can manifest in many ways. The class teacher, already stretched to the limit of patience and endurance, may not realise what the problem is or how to deal with it. These children will often appear clumsy, especially with ball skills or tracking.

I had the benefit, a couple of years ago, of attending a Move to Learn conference in Fiji where I met Berri (Helen Berriman), who is an accredited Vision Therapist of the Australian College of Behavioural Optometry, with a background in education. This week an e-book was produced from that conference and Berri’s article was too good for me not to pass on to you. Following is an abridged version which I reproduce with Berri’s kind permission.

“The Behavioural Optometrist will check structure, function and efficiency of the eyes, visual processing and integration (working in with our other senses and our bodies). When the eyes can’t do their tasks properly they become stressed. This is particularly evident in children who spend too much time on computers or close (book and desk) work. This can result in tiredness, headaches, red or watering eyes, postural adaptations and poor performance or inattention.

A Behavioural Optometrist uses visual training, prisms and lenses to improve vision and visual processing.

Who needs to be checked by a Behavioural Optometrist? A simple checklist –

  • Frequently skips or repeats lines when reading
  • Tilts head or closes one eye when reading
  • Has difficulty or is slow copying from the board
  • Avoids reading and close work
  • Omits small words when reading
  • Writes uphill or downhill and/or with poor spacing
  • Misaligns digits in columns of numbers
  • Holds reading material too close
  • Has a short attention span
  • Has difficulty completing assignments in time allotted
  • Has an abnormal pencil grip.”

The above checklist may sound like something that develops during primary school, but even kindergarten children and younger can show evidence of this problem. The most common indicators are sensitivity to light, poor tracking and red eyes. If you have any concerns, it is worth considering having a behavioural optometry check done.

Berri works for David Evian, fellow of the Australian College of Behavioural Optometry. They both specialise in working with children. David also does lecture tours for parents and teachers. For further information go to their website ( or or check out the Behavioural Optometry website for a centre near you.

For further information about Move to Learn, go to Many of the Move to Learn products, especially the sensational DVD with movement sequences demonstrated, are available from the Kidz-Fiz-Biz website. Alternatively, feel free to contact me ( if you’d like to know more.

Quotes of the Week

“Start using your imagination and see things as they can be. Your success begins in your mind.” ~ Source unknown

“No person has ever gone blind from looking at the bright side of life.” ~ Source unknown

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” ~ Trina Panormo


Invisible Tango Partner


Some comments from UK PD – Millfield Prep School, Glastonbury

“Lots of resources and excellent ideas to use with resources already held. Fantastic! Fun and full of great ideas.” ~ Hannah Dennethy

“Absolutely fantastic with masses of wonderful ideas to use straight away. I have enjoyed today – just the right amount and variety of eveything! Thank you!” ~ Diana

About The Author

Marlene Rattigan B.A., Dip. Ed. (ECS), CELTA

Marlene Rattigan is an Early Childhood teacher, a teacher of English as a Second Language, and from 1987-2000 was a nationally accredited fitness leader. Her background is in music education. A keen interest in motor development in children led to the creation of Kidz-Fiz-Biz which she taught successfully for 13 years. Marlene also conducts workshops for children, teachers and parents at schools, in the community and at festivals. She has produced teaching manuals complete with audio CDs which are an extension of her ‘Kidz-Fiz-Biz’ program.

PO Box 6894, East Perth WA 6892, Australia
T: +61 8 9325 1204 M: +61 (0) 410 64 2781 E:

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Until next time … continue being a legend in your classroom.

Marlene Rattigan, Editor
Kidz Newz

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