Bates Method International

Can the method be used with young children?

Yes. Children from about five years can work very happily with a teacher. Younger children can be helped by their parents with a teacher's guidance.

In any situation where a child is experiencing visual difficulty it is always most helpful if the parents or guardians learn the method along with the child, even if they already have very good vision. As a child absorbs their habits of seeing from the surrounding environment, the family's involvement is often very effective in counteracting the core habits of strain.

Permanent relaxation can be obtained by any of the methods used in the cure of errors of refraction, but in the case of young children who do not know their letters these methods have to be modified.

Such children can be cured by encouraging them to use their eyes on any small objects that interest them. There are many ways in which this can be done, and it is important to devise a variety of means so that the child will not weary of them. For the same reason the presence of other children is at times desirable.

There must be no compulsion and no harshness, for as soon as any method ceases to be pleasant it ceases to be beneficial.
W H Bates: Better Eyesight Magazine March 1930