Millions of children are heading back to their classrooms without the visual skills required to succeed in school. One of the reasons for this is that most people assume if you can see the letters on the eye chart your vision is fine, yet being able to see the letters on the eye chart is just one of 17 visual skills necessary for academic success.
“The myth that ’20/20′ means you have perfect vision started in the 1800’s when the eye chart was created,” states Dr. Brad Habermehl, President of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development. “This August marks the 15th year we have been observing August as National Children’s Vision and Learning Month. The purpose of this observance is to educate parents and educators that vision plays a critical role in our children’s education.”
Optometric vision therapy treats vision problems that make reading and learning difficult. While vision therapy does not treat dyslexia, vision problems can often be misdiagnosed as learning disabilities such as dyslexia or even ADHD. According to the American Optometric Association, studies indicate that 60 percent of children identified as “problem learners” actually suffer from undetected vision problems, and in some cases have been inaccurately diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
According to Dr. Habermehl, “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that if a child is seeing double, ghosty or unstable texts it will be hard to read. Yet, if you assume vision is fine, the only possible conclusion one can reach is the child has a learning disability such as ADHD or dyslexia.” According to the American Optometric Association, studies indicate that 60 percent of children identified as “problem learners” actually suffer from undetected vision problems.
If you are getting your children ready for school, schedule a comprehensive vision and eye health exam. At Bright Eyes, we specialize in children’s vision. Call 813-792-0637 for an appointment.
Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.