August is Vision & Learning Month
This August marks the 19th annual Vision and Learning Month – a national observance aimed at educating parents and teachers about the critical link between vision and learning. The College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) started this observance in 1995 in response to the large number of students they saw each year who were struggling due to undiagnosed visual problems.
In recognition of Vision and Learning Month, Northampton Vision Specialists encourages all parents to have their school-aged children evaluated by a developmental optometrist to check for functional vision disorders such as poor eye tracking, lack of depth perception and an inability to sustain focus. With 17 visual skills required to read and learn successfully, deficiencies in any one area can lead to difficulties such as:
- An inability to concentrate
- Poor reading comprehension
- Frequent headaches
- Short attention span
- Skipping, re-reading lines of text
- Reversing letters when reading
Unfortunately, the link between the above symptoms and a functional vision disorder is often overlooked, as many pediatricians and eye care professionals use only the standard, 20/20 visual acuity test to determine whether or not a child has a vision problem. In fact, the American Public Health Association found that approximately 25 percent of students have undiagnosed visual problems that may interfere with their ability to succeed in school.
If you have a child or student that exhibits any of the above symptoms, he or she should be evaluated by a developmental optometrist. When diagnosed accurately, most functional disorders can be successfully treated through optometric vision therapy, giving students the skills they need to succeed in school.
For a full list of common symptoms, click here.