Monday, August 1, 2011

August is Children's Vision & Learning Month

August is Children's Vision & Learning Month

Since 1995, August has been declared National Children's Vision and Learning Month. From the COVD (College of Optometrists in Vision Development): "The goal of this national observance is to help educate parents and educators about the critical link between vision and learning". This month coincides with Back to School as summer vacation draws to a close and children across the nation return to school or enter school for the first time. It is crucial that all children have vision screening prior to entering school and routine screening (annual) takes place.

Important Awareness Info for this month (and always):

-Vision problems can interfere with learning. It is reported that as many as 25% of children grades K-6 have vision issues that can impede learning.

-Seeing 20/20 is just one of 17 necessary vision skills that are crucial for learning. The skills are:

1. Eye Movement Control
2. Simultaneous Focus at Far
3. Sustaining Focus at Far
4. Simultaneous Focus at Near
5. Sustaining Focus at Near
6. Simultaneous Alignment at Far
7. Sustaining Alignment at Far
8. Simultaneous Alignment at Near
9. Sustaining Alignment at Near
10. Central Vision (Visual Acuity)
11. Peripheral Vision
12. Depth Awareness
13. Color Perception
14. Gross Visual-Motor
15. Fine Visual-Motor
16. Visual Perception
17. Visual Integration

-School vision screening is a start, but does not replace full vision testing completed by a vision professional (at an optometrist or ophthalmologist). Many learning difficulties can be attributed to vision problems that are not detected during typical school vision screenings.

-Many times vision issues are misdiagnosed as "laziness", ADHD, dyslexia or other learning disabilities. Watch a video on why 20/20 vision is not enough.

-Signs that your child may be struggling with vision include: frequent headaches, dizziness, tiredness, inability to complete homework in a timely fashion, or poor spelling. Visit the COVD website for a full checklist of vision issue symptoms.

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