I am very pleased to share that Florida Governor Rick Scott has issued the Children’s Vision and Learning Month proclamation. August was first declared Vision & Learning Month in 1995 and now it is an anual tradition. The goal of this national observance is to help educate parents and educators about the critical link between vision and learning. Here is Governor Scott’s proclamation
For many parents in Florida, back to school means back to the search for answers to their children’s learning difficulties. While many parents are hopeful the new teacher will have a magic bullet, others are just as frustrated as when the previous school year ended. “There is a light at the end of the tunnel,” says Dr. David Damari, President of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD), an organization that I am actively involved in. “Statistically more than 60% of children who struggle with reading have underlying vision problems contributing to their challenges.”
But it’s not the type of vision problem most people think of. Most of the children who have vision problems that interfere with reading and learning can actually see the letters on the eye chart just fine. So when parents are told their children have passed a vision screening, what they are really being told is that their child can see clearly far away. But the problem lies in what was not tested – how well the two eyes work together when reading, how they move on the page or track a line of print, to name a few of the 17 visual skills required for academic success.
It doesn’t really matter what the curriculum is or even what country you are in, when children have underlying vision problems contributing to their learning challenges, they continue to struggle until the vision problem is corrected.
“August is historically National Children’s Vision and Learning Month, but this year we decided to share stories from around the globe so people could see this is a global problem with a universal solution,” states Damari. As the new school year rounds the corner, August is the perfect time to make sure your child has all the visual skills required for academic success. For more information, visit covd.org.
All the best!
By Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
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