College of Optometrists in Vision Development Wraps Up Annual Vision & Learning Month Awareness Campaign, Urges Parents to Keep their Eyes on their Children’s Vision

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Store aisles full of notebooks and backpacks may be giving way to “pumpkin spice everything,” but the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) reminds parents to remain vigilant about vision problems beyond the back-to-school season.

20/20 only means a child can see the chalk board across the room. Students need other visual skills for school success!

20/20 only means a child can see the chalk board across the room. Students need other visual skills for school success!

Vision problems can present with a variety of symptoms, ranging from more obvious signs like squinting and watery eyes to ones that may be less apparent, such as behavioral issues.

Continuing a tradition since 1995, COVD’s August awareness campaign for Vision & Learning Month encouraged parents to start the school year with comprehensive vision exams, highlighting the fact that in-school screenings can miss fifty percent of vision problems that affect learning.

According to COVD, these vision problems can present with a variety of symptoms, ranging from more obvious signs like squinting and watery eyes to ones that may be less apparent, such as behavioral issues or taking an excessive amount of time to complete homework. Luckily, these vision problems can be treated by a program of vision therapy with a developmental optometrist.

This year, the association’s awareness campaign featured a series of blog posts that shared inspiring stories of vision therapy success from children and adults. Nathan went from barely being able to read in 4th grade to being a top-ten student in math and science at the end of 5th grade and his classmates voted him Best Student Overall. “His math teacher told me he is a totally different student now,” his mother shares. “He is much more confident, has less anxiety and a better attitude about school.”

Another student named Destiny expressed her vision difficulties through behavioral issues, but hasn’t been sent to the principal’s office a single time since completing vision therapy. Her parents say her newfound confidence in class has extended into all areas of her life: “Destiny is ready to try new endeavors and take on new challenges with her head held high.”

These children and so many others come to vision therapy after months or years of unnecessary challenges in school that could have been prevented with a comprehensive vision exam. If your own children are showing unexplainable difficulty in school or if they suddenly begin to struggle, you can evaluate your children’s symptoms online using COVD’s Quality of Life Checklist tool. As the school year progresses onward, parents can continue to ensure their children have every possible advantage by keeping the importance of good vision and its connection to learning at the forefront of their minds.

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Pamela R. Happ, MSM, CAE
College of Optometrists in Vision Development
since: 05/2011
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