Dr. Amorita Treganza received the Skeffington Award in 1986 . She was another GIANT in developmental optometry. She was instrumental in the birth of COVD as the national (and now international) organization of developmental optometry. In fact she served as COVD’s first president, in 1971. When I typed her name into Google, I was delighted to find this story about the celebration in Lemon Gove, CA, honoring her life and legacy , 100 years after her birth. Dr. Treganza continues to be an inspiration and role model for women pursuing optometry, especially those of us specializing in developmental vision. Dr. Treganza is the co-author of Optometric Evaluation of Children with Academic Dysfunction, published by the Optometric Extension Program, from 1977-78.
In her case presentation to parents, Dr. Treganza would often begin by separating the vision problem and the reading problem. She would use the analogy of building a house.
Vision is the foundation. Vision provides the platform, the stability and the strong beginning on which the remainder of the house will be built. Reading is the structure of the house; the framing, walls, ceiling and finishing work. The visual dysfunction affects reading efficiency. It eliminates or puts crack in that foundation that is supposed to provide stability and strength. Learning to read and reading to learn are both more difficult. Attempts to teach that child to read may add a few boards to the walls of the house, but what might we expect if the foundation is unstable and weak? The pieces won’t fit together and won’t function properly. At best it will be disorganized, and at worst, it will be unusable! In order to treat the academic dysfunction, it is necessary to start at the beginning, by rebuilding the foundation. This can be accomplished with optometric vision therapy. Then, it is possible to address the reading problem with the appropriate educational intervention. The framing, walls, ceiling and finishing touches can be built. Just as building a house requires a team effort (contractor, plumber, electrician, carpenter, etc) so does treatment of the academic dysfunction. Optometrists, parents and educators must work together.
–August is National Children’s Vision and Learning Month–
So let’s build some houses, from the ground up. If your child has academic problems, please schedule a vision examination today!