Research presented this morning at COVD’s annual meeting had an uber important message: we need more vision therapy! Drs. Lisa Christian, Angela Peddle, and 4th year students Shannon Pennifeod and Beth Schellenberg presented the preliminary results of a very important study.
The doctors and students from Waterloo School of Optometry reviewed the records of young patients, all of whom had been identified as learning disabled by the district school board. Before writing an individual education plan (IEP) for each, the school board advised that each student have a comprehensive vision examination performed by the pediatric service of Waterloo School of Optometry.
The records of 68 students ranging in age from 6-12 years were reviewed. None of them had ever had a previous eye exam. Children requiring spectacles were not included in the study. The number of vision problems discovered in this population was astounding.
- 43% had reduced stereo vision
- 67% had binocular dysfunction at near
- 36% had signs of convergence insufficiency
- 38% had deficient accommodative skills
Six measurements of binocularity were obtained; 60% of patients failed two or more of those tests.
Children with reading problems who require individual education plans are at high risk for vision problems. What would have happened if these children were not referred for a comprehensive vision examination? They would have continued to struggle with undiagnosed vision problems. We need comprehensive vision examinations for ALL children entering school. Many of theses children will also require vision therapy.
Does your child have a reading or learning disability? Please make sure that child has a comprehensive vision examination. Make it happen.
Read more about comprehensive eye examinations here.