August has been recognized as the Vision & Learning month. It would seem appropriate since many children return to school in August or shortly thereafter. In addition to getting new clothes and supplies for our kids, this yearly routine should spur us to take our children in for a comprehensive eye and vision examination.
Vision is a highly complex and intricate process. So, it is not surprising that reading and learning is dependent on not only having excellent 20/20 vision, but also accurate eye movement, eye focusing, eye teaming, and visual motor skills.
It’s just the plain ole fact that there is a direct correlation between vision and learning.
Did you know that…
- “25% of students in grades K-6 have visual problems that are serious enough to impede learning.” – American Public Health Association
- Approximately “80% of children with a learning disability have an undiagnosed vision problem.”– Vision Council of America
- “1 in 4 children has an undiagnosed vision problem which can interfere with learning and lead to academic and/or behavioral problems.” – College of Optometrists in Vision Development
- Studies show that “children who had visual perceptual and eye movement difficulties did poorly on standardized tests.” – Dr. Lynn Hellerstein, FAAO, FCOVD, Past President of COVD
- “When vision problems go undetected, children almost invariably have trouble reading and doing their schoolwork. They often a display fatigue, fidgeting and frustrations in the classroom – traits that can lead to a misdiagnosis of dyslexia or other learning disabilities.” – American Optometric Association
- A “child with a vision based learning problem has excellent verbal skills, causing parent and educators to think the child must be lazy, have ADD/ADHD, or is learning disabled.”
– College of Optometrists in Vision Development
A cursory vision screening is just not enough to detect vision-related learning difficulties. Early prevention of a child’s vision problem is so important for school readiness, learning and academic success. So make it an integral part of your child’s back-to-school preparations. Buy school supplies, outfit your child with new clothes, and most important, take your child to see a doctor of optometry for a thorough eye and vision examination.
~Judy Tong, OD, FAAO
(Special thanks to my colleagues Drs. Carmen Barnhardt, Eric Borsting, Ray Chu, and Rebekah Louie.)