The 2016 Vision and Learning Summit
Dr. Ruggiero recently attended 2016 Summit: Vision and Learning – Making the Connection. The primary message of the Summit was the importance of making vision examinations a standard part of every child’s well care. By doing so, physicians will be better able to identify vision problems that may be interfering with their academic success. Studies show that if a child isn’t reading fluently by Grade 4, there is a significant chance they will continue to struggle academically. There is also a 70 percent chance they will not graduate high school.
Speakers at the Summit included Massachusetts Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, Nonie Lesaux, PhD of the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Bruce Moore, OD, a Professor of Pediatric Studies at the New England College of Optometry. These speakers presented compelling research that documented the need for the early identification of visual deficits, as well as the critical relationship between vision and learning. This research included the following:
- As many as 14 percent of children have moderate farsightedness that hasn’t yet been detected. Uncorrected farsightedness in preschool children is associated with significantly worse performance on early literacy tests.
- Astigmatism can affect a child’s reading skills and have a significantly negative effect on their academic performance. Wearing eyeglasses will not only correct the problem, but may boost reading fluency by up to one-half a grade level.
The American Optometric Association recommends that all children have their first vision examination by six months of age, at three years of age and again before first grade. At Northampton Vision Specialists, we specialize in caring for children’s vision. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please contact our office.