As summer gears up and we approach the end of June, the Eye See Eye Learn program also comes to an end for the 2016/2017 school year. However, we continue another year of ensuring our youngest learners have good vision to start Junior Kindergarten! July 1, 2017 (until June 30, 2018) marks the beginning of the 2017/2018 ESEL school year for those born in 2013 (and who will be entering JK in September 2017).
Did you know that 1 child in 4 suffers from some kind of vision problem severe enough to impact their learning? Parents often believe their child will tell them if they cannot see well. The reality is, children with vision problems don’t have good vision to compare to and will often not complain. Poor vision can affect the grades of bright children. In fact, 60% of children with learning difficulties have an un-diagnosed vision problem. This can result in poor self-esteem and manifest in behavioural problems. This can also restrict future employment opportunities and increase the risk of bilateral visual impairment in adulthood. Starting yearly eye exam early in life has another advantage; identifying and treating vision problems early is beneficial because younger children respond better to treatment than older children.
A comprehensive eye exam by an optometrist include an assessment of the vision at distance and up close, a check of the health of the eyes and a binocular vision assessment – how well the two eyes are working as a pair so that tracking words in sentences and paragraphs during reading become as effortless as possible. Every child in Ontario under the age of 20 years old with a valid OHIP card is covered for a yearly eye exam.
The Eye See… Eye Learn program – an initiative between the Ontario Association of Optometrists and the Ontario Ministry of Health – provide children born in 2013 a complimentary pair of glasses, if prescription lenses are required.
As an optometrist, I feel excited that I and my colleague have an opportunity to positively change the lives of hundreds of students through this free program and also give parents the peace of mind of knowing how well their child can see.
80%of classroom learning is done through the eyes. Make sure your child is ready to learn and succeed. Schedule an eye exam at Dr. Mei-Ling Chan Optometry in Barrie before the start of school.