Link between vision, learning is quite clear

by Symptom Advice on January 27, 2012

The state of Iowa continues to ignore the fact that vision screenings in school can prevent many current and future problems for our children. Kids need to see to learn.

Considering that nearly

80 percent of what a child learns the first 12 years of life is through vision, good eyesight is an essential part of a child’s education. So, when a vision problem is overlooked, a child goes through life in a blurry fog, with poor grades and potential behavior issues.

It is disheartening to know that Iowa is one of only 10 states that does not require a vision screening or examination to ensure school-aged children are ready to learn.

Iowa spends thousands of dollars annually to educate each child in our school system, but we fail to ensure that they can see.

In addition to wasting state funding, we have disregarded the clear

connection between vision problems and learning disabilities along with behavior issues. Nearly

80 percent of children with learning disabilities and 70 percent of juvenile delinquents have an

undiagnosed vision problem.

The newly elected Iowa Legislature has the opportunity to ensure that every dime we invest in our children’s education is being put to good use by requiring vision screenings at every school during the first and third grades.

This legislation is supported by Prevent Blindness Iowa (PBI) and other organizations who understand the importance of our children being visually prepared to learn. PBI, a voluntary health organization dedicated to the prevention of blindness and the preservation of sight, provides free vision screenings to nearly 20,000 Iowa children annually to detect common eye problems. Once a vision problem is detected through a vision screening, these children are sent to an eye doctor for a comprehensive exam to ensure their vision is corrected.

Not only do these screenings assist in learning, but they can also detect a vision problem that can cause permanent sight loss if left untreated. With one in four school-aged children experiencing a vision problem, we can’t afford to let these children slip through the cracks and suffer from vision problems that can have lifelong consequences.

Iowa has fallen behind other states on investing in our children’s vision health. the Iowa Legislature has the power to help ensure each child has the opportunity to excel in school and become successful adults through affordable, regular vision screenings.

Our children’s health and education must continue to be our no. 1 one priority.

Chris Schroeder is president of Prevent Blindness Iowa, Comments:

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