Around 10 million school children in America have vision conditionsthat can negatively affect learning. This can be prevented by taking kids to get their first formal eye exam with an Eye Dr in an Eye Clinic BEFORE they enter school. A child’s first eye test with an Eye Doctor should be done between ages 3 and 4. At Visionary Eyecare in Pembroke Pines, Sunrise (Next to Lenscrafters) and Davie (Next to Pearle Vision) – our Optometrists, Dr Bearden, Dr Tenn and Dr McCulloh, begin to see children at age 4.
Allen Picture Cards
A child does NOT need to be able to verbalize or know their alphabetfor the examinerto perform a comprehensive eye examination.
There are numerous eye charts for children!!
Lea Flip Chart
Allen and Lea charts have pictures or shapes on them that youngsters can identify. The Broken wheel chartallows the child to tell the examiner which wheel on the car is “broken” . The Tumbling E chart (also known as the illiterate chart) allows a child to just POINT in the direction that the “legs of the E” are pointing in.
Allen Picture Eye Chart
Often our children can not express to us when they are having problems with their vision. They may not even realize that they are experiencing vision problems. Sometimes children will try to compensate for vision issues by closing one eye, rubbing their eyes excessively, squinting, skipping over words or loose their place when they are reading.
Kids may start having difficulty in school due to an “unknown” reason. A recent study indicated that up to 60 percent of youngsters that have been identified as “problem learners” or “learning disorder” actually suffer from an undetected visual condition.
Tumbling E Eye Chart
A vision problem is not suspected in many children because they were able to pass the school vision screening or the pediatrician vision screening. These children may still have visual issues but, they were not detected on the screening. Only a comprehensive eye exam, done by an Eye Doctor (Optometrist or Ophthalmologist) will be able to detect subtle vision problems.
Broken Wheel Eye Test
Vision issues need to be detected and corrected before age 7 to prevent lifelong problems such as lazy eye (amblyopia), eye turn (strabismus), learning disabilities and behavior problems.
This is a story of how an eye exam can actually change the course of a child’s life.
Jennifer is a loving mother of an 5 year old little boy. Her son is absolutely adorable and a really good child yet, in school he was being labeled a “difficult / problem child” and a “disturbance in the classroom”. He often did not want to pay attention in school, frequently “acted out” and even threw his books. He just did not seem to be interested in reading or learning – at ALL.
As a mother, she knew that this behavior in school seemed a bit odd and out of character for the sweet, loving boy that she knew her son to be at home. The comments from the school really alarmed Jennifer that something was definitely wrong.
Her young son had passed his Pediatrician’s vision screening, AS WELL AS the school vision screening but, acting on motherly instinct – she ignored the comments that “his vision is fine” and took him to see the Optometrist, Dr Dawn Bearden, for a routine eye exam. Eye Doctor, Dr Bearden, manages the Visionary Eyecare (Independent Doctor of Optometry) offices next to Lenscrafters in Pembroke Pinesand Sunrise and also next to Pearle Vision in Davie.
During the routine eye examination – Dr Bearden discovered that Jennifer’s son was able to read the eye chart with just a little bit of blur but, he needed eyeglasses to correct the strain that he was feeling while reading. Once the strain was relieved from wearing the glasses full time…the child suddenly became more attentive in school and began reading ALL THE TIME.
Actually, he loved reading SO MUCH that he won an award from his kindergarten teacher for reading!! He even received an award from the school’s Principal for “Most Improved Reader”…he actually read 26 books within 30 days. WOW!!
Jennifer is now a HUGE advocate to have children get eye exams from an eye doctor and for parents NOT to be lulled into complacency by their child passing a vision screening. Her child could have gone through life in the classroom being labeled a “problem” and a “disturbance” simply because he could not see well and his eyes were being strained in school.
Jennifer states the following in her video:
No matter how well a parent THINKS their child sees well or if a child is labeled a “problem” in the classroom because he does not pay attention…it may just be because he can’t see well.
The eye exam has made a HUGE difference and my son has excelled, he is doing wonderful and his behavior is like “night and day”!
“I’m a big ADVOCATE…get your child checked by a (eye care) professional!!”
Jacob is 5 years old. He came in today for his VERY FIRST eye examination.
Last year he saw his Pediatrician for a vision screening but, he was not too cooperative when it was time to read the eye chart so they really did not have any idea about the clarity of his right eye. This year he went to Kindergarten and had a vision screening. That day mom got a note back that he failed and needed to see an eye doctor.
Jake Having Fun at Visionary Eyecare
He came into Visionary Eyecare ( the Independent Doctors of Optometry Next to Pearle Vision in Davie) for his first eye exam. During his vision test we noticed that Jake could see fairly well with his left eye but, he was only able to see 20/80 (eight lines WORSE than 20/20) with his right eye. During the eye exam, Dr Bearden found that Jake has a high prescription in his right eye and was using only his left eye to see with. His right eye is a lazy eye (amblyopia) and is not able to be corrected to 20/20 – even WITH a glasses prescription.
But the good news is that a child’s visual system is not completely developed until around age 7. So he can still adapt to changes in the clarity of his vision – he is more likely to have great success with his new glasses and possible vision therapy to strengthen that vision in his right eye!
Jake Give Us the Thumbs UP!!!
So, Jake’s eyes are still growing and developing and with the proper glasses and visual therapy – hopefully, he will be able to get the vision in his right eye to be a lot better than 20/80….maybe even as good as 20/20.
The key learning for parents is to have your child’s eyes examined with a comprehensive eye examination as early as possible – by an Eye Doctor.
Jacob Gets Measured for His New Glasses
Jake Plays Star Wars
Jake Models His Frame Choice
Jake Returns to Pick up his new glasses….just in time for Thanksgiving!!
Kudos to Illinois for leading the way in children’s vision care!!!
Illinois recently passed a law that intends for ALL children to receive a comprehensive eye examination from an Eye Doctor before entering school – so no child from Illinois will fall between the cracks of the “vision screen” system. Here in South Florida at Visionary Eyecare, we see WAY too many children that have significant visual problems that were simply NOT picked up on these school or pediatrician vision screenings. When a child has a vision problem and it is not detected and treated early enough – this can lead to a LIFETIME of vision problems.
Please click on the above picture to sign a petition to fully support this legistlation by incorporating a Vision First Exam Form. This exam form will insure that the children are receiving very thorough and comprehensive eye exams from an Eye Dr before they attend school.
We want to support Illinois every step of the way so hopefully they will support Florida on day in passing similar legislation one day for our children!!
Here are some pictures of our youngsters having FUN and playing with the toys in our Visionary Eyecare Office in Davie, FL (Next to Pearle Vision) during our important ….. BACK TO SCHOOL EYE EXAMINATION Time.
School starts in just a FEW short weeks and it is CRUCIAL that all school age children have a comprehensive eye examination before school begins!! A Pedicatrician eye chart test or a school vision screening is NOT sufficient to ensure that your child’s has the clearest vision and healthiest eyes for ALL of their classroom tasks.
Here is some important information from the American Optometric Association (AOA):
The American Optometric Association (AOA) reminds parents that good vision is critical for many classroom tasks.” Children who do not have “healthy vision…can face unnecessary challenges not only in the classroom, but also to their mental, physical, social, and emotional well being.”
Some youngsters who “suffer from undetected vision problems…may even be misdiagnosed as having a learning disorder.” In fact, “[s]tudies indicate that 60 percent of children identified as ‘problem learners’ actually suffer from undetected vision problems.
According to the AOA’s American Eye-Q® survey, only 39 percent of adults understand that behavioral problems can be an indication of vision problems.” Optometrist Leonard Press, O.D., AOA’s vision and learning specialist, pointed out that “10 million school children in America have vision conditions that can negatively affect learning.”
Therefore, “[a] comprehensive eye examination for students is one of the most important ‘to-dos’ as children head back to school.”
A common misconception parents have is that a vision screening at their child’s school and/or a vision check at the Pediatrician’s office is the same as an eye exam. Vision Screeningsare not the same as an Eye Exambecause Vision Screenings are vision tests that are designed to ONLY check to see if a child is able to read the eye chart…they do not check for visual development problems or eye health issues.
Many children may have eye health or vision problems and still be able to pass a school vision screening or Pediatrician vision screening. Some eye health or vision problems may go undetected with a vision screening….many of these vision problems need to be detected long before age 7 to prevent permenant lifelong vision problems such as lazy eye (amblyopia) or eye turn (strabismus).
Your child should have an eye exam at ANY age if a problem is suspected. Believe it or not, an eye examination can be performed on an infant, as young as one day old. A pediatric eye doctor (Optometrist or Opthalmologist) can determine if a infant or very young child has any vision or eye health problems by using computerized testing – there is no need for the child to be able to communicate verbally during the exam.
At Visionary Eyecare we like to begin seeing children at age 4.Visionary Eyecare has 2 South Florida eye clinic locations in Broward County for your convenience – Pembroke Pines (Next to Lenscrafters), and Sunrise (Next to Lenscrafters – INSIDE the Sawgrass Mills Mall). If you think your child has a vision or eye health problem BEFORE age 4 – please give us a call at any of our locations and we will be happy to refer you to a pediatric optometrist or ophthalmologist that can perform an exam on your child.
When scheduling an eye exam for your child – it is important to ask if the doctor’s office is set up to deliver vision tests to examine children. Not all eye doctors are equipped or feel comfortable performing eye exams on young children.