I was honored to be the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) representative at the 2011 School Readiness Summit: Focus on Vision (April 11-12, 2011) in Washington DC. The Summit included:
1. Updated neurologic research on vision and learning
2. Heart-touching stories from Dr. Sue Barry (author of Fixing My Gaze) and Robin Benoit (author of Jillian’s Story, How Vision Therapy Changed My Daughter’s Life) truly demonstrated how vision is not just about seeing, but impacts our entire life and well-being.
3. Wonderful networking with professionals from many learning-related areas including American Speech Hearing language Association, Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, Public Health Association, American Optometric Association, The Vision Council, Prevent Blindness, Council for Exceptional Children, Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs, National Head Start Association. Dr. Alexa Posny, Assistant Secretary from the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (US Department of Education) was one of the speakers.
4. Collaborative brain-storming and creation of action plans for achieving comprehensive eye/vision care for all children.
Here is part of the press release from the AOA:
AMERICAN OPTOMETRIC ASSOCIATION-LED SCHOOL READINESS SUMMIT ISSUES BOLD HEALTHY VISION AND LEARNING PLAN
WASHINGTON, DC – April 12, 2011 – With about one-in-four school-aged children suffering from an undetected or untreated vision problem, the American Optometric Association (AOA), with support from HOYA Vision Care, gathered together doctors, nurses, educators and other children’s health advocates for the first-ever School Readiness Summit: Focus on Vision.
Responding to President Obama’s call to ensure that no child is left behind in the classroom due to an undetected or untreated eye or vision disorder, the summit’s interdisciplinary workgroup recognized the established link between healthy vision and classroom learning.
Studies show that much of what children learn comes through vision, and undetected and untreated eye and vision disorders in children, such as amblyopia and strabismus, can result in vision loss, additional costly treatments, delayed reading and poorer outcomes in school. In fact, a number of studies even indicate that visual factors are better predictors of academic success than race or socio-economic status.
“Too many American children still go through years of school before a learning-related vision problem is ultimately detected; typically after many other more costly interventions,” said Dr. Dori Carlson, President-Elect of AOA.
Click here to download the entire press release
By: Dr. Lynn Hellerstein, a Colorado Optometrist in Vision Therapy