Healthy Kids     K-12    

Good vision: a tool for learning

Early eye problems could affect your child at school

Rosario Flores of Middletown never suspected her youngest son William had a problem with his vision until she noticed that he sat close to the TV set when he watched cartoons.

“And when I asked him to pass me something from a nearby table, he acted like he didn’t know what I was talking about,” Flores explains.

A school vision examination before William entered kindergarten confirmed Flores’ concerns. “The school nurse told me the vision test showed William may have an eye problem that would require him to wear glasses.

She advised me to talk to his pediatrician about seeing an eye doctor.”

William was referred to Leslie Green, MD, an ophthalmologist who works with Eye Physicians of Orange County and treats infants and young children at her Goshen office.

“Dr. Green told me William had astigmatism, a vision problem that causes blurry vision,” Flores says. “He started wearing glasses when he was four and now he is nine. He enjoys wearing them because he says he can see better to learn in school.”

Children are visual learners and ninety-four percent of poor readers have vision problems, according to the American Optometric Association. Sometimes poor vision can be mistaken for reading disabilities, which is why paying attention to the early warning signs of a vision problem is so important.

Joan Fox Rose is a freelance writer living in Saratoga Springs.