To help parents and educators understand the impact of undetected vision problems, the State of Wisconsin and 10 Wisconsin cities have proclaimed August to be Children’s Vision and Learning Month.The beginning of the school year is a critical time. As a child advances a grade, their visual system will encounter more challenges than ever before. These new challenges can expose a vision problem, one that may have been undetected by typical vision screenings.
Even if a child has 20/20 vision, there are over 17 other visual skills that aren’t tested by typical vision screenings. It’s why so many parents and teachers are unaware that a child has an issue.
According to the American Optometric Association, 1 in 4 children has an undetected vision problem. “We are well into the 21st century, yet we are still using a benchmark from the 1800s to determine if a child can see well enough to learn,” said Dr. David Damari, President of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development.
Dr. Damari is referring to the use of the Snellen eye chart, which only identifies 5% of the vision problems in children, according to the American Foundation for Vision Awareness. The typical undetected vision problems may include problems with:
• Near focusing (Most learning is done within an arm’s length; such as reading from a book or working at a desk.)
• Eye coordination (binocularity) and focusing
• Convergence (a visual skill required for reading)
• Eye movement and tracking
• Depth perception and peripheral vision
• Strabismus (crossed or wandering eye)
Fortunately, the majority of these vision disorders are very treatable. It’s why The Vision Therapy Center, in conjunction with the State of Wisconsin, 10 Wisconsin cities, and the College of Optometrists in Vision Development, is hoping that educators and parents will pay special attention to this year’s August is National Children’s Vision and Learning Month campaign.
Learn how undetected vision problems can impact a child's ability to learn. Download your free Vision and Learning Guide.