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Friday, September 21, 2018

20/20 Is Not Enough!

Many children are labeled as having behavioral or attention deficit problems. Sometimes this is a misdiagnosis and what is actually causing their inability to concentrate on schoolwork is a vision related learning issue.

I was surprised to learn that less than 15% of kiddos get their eyes examined before starting school, especially since 80% of what they learn is visual – it’s through their eyes! One out of four kids struggle academically because of undiagnosed vision problems. The majority of these problems are very treatable and can allow these kids to perform at their full potential.

Just because your child passed the vision screener at school or at the pediatrician’s office and was told they have perfect 20/20 vision, doesn’t mean they still can’t be struggling with visual problems. Even with 20/20 vision, it may not be enough to sustain concentration and process information. There are 17 visual skills (see below) that are required to succeed in school and in sports. It is important that every child have a visual health examination by an Optometrist to look for these skills as a simple vision screening may fail to pick up.

Dr. Lyons and myself are proud providers of the InfantSEE program, where kiddos between 6-12 months are given a FREE comprehensive eye examination to ensure everything is developing properly. Check out http://www.infantsee.org/ for more information!

According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), infants should have their first comprehensive eye exam around 6-12 months of age. Children then should have additional eye exams at age 3, and again at age 5.

Call our office if you have questions. Thanks for reading!

Dr. Brewer

Here is the list of those 17 skills! (Courtesy of COVD.org)
 Eye Movement Control 
 The ability to move both eyes together to point at an intended target or follow along a path, like a line of text
 Simultaneous Focus at Far
 Forming a clear image of something in the distance
 Sustaining Focus at Far
 Keeping an image of something in the distance clear
 Simultaneous Focus at Near
 Forming a clear image of something close to the eyes
 Sustaining Focus at Near
 Keeping a clear image of something close to the eyes
 Simultaneous Alignment at Far
 Lining up both eyes at the same point the distance
 Sustaining Alignment at Far
 Holding both eyes lined up at the same point in the distance
 Simultaneous Alignment at Near
Lining up both eyes at the same point up close
 Sustaining Alignment at Near
 Holding both eyes lined up at the same point up close
 Central Vision (Visual Acuity)
 This is where "20/20" vision comes in!
 Peripheral Vision
 Being able to see what's on either side of you while your eyes are pointed forward
 Depth Awareness
 Being able to tell that things are further away or closer up than each other (also know as depth perception)
 Color Perception
 Being able to tell different colors apart (if you are not color-blind)
 Gross Visual-Motor
 Moving yourself through space without bumping into things by using information from your vision
 Fine Visual-Motor
Writing, sewing, texting, and doing other small and close-up activities with accuracy by using information from  your vision
 Visual Perception
 Being aware of your environment and what is going on around you in your visual field (the area you can see)
 Visual Integration
 Bringing together your vision and your other senses to accomplish complex tasks, like reading while walking a balance beam