This week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie proclaimed August Children’s Vision & Learning Month.
In a Letter to the editor commending the Governor for his action, Dr. Maria Richman, president of the NJ Society of Optometric Physicians, explains that the goal of this observance is to help educate parents and teachers about the critical link between good vision and effective learning:
When a child fails to progress in school, a serious learning disability or attention deficit disorder is frequently thought to blame. But the problem might be, in part, caused by a vision difficulty, not a learning one. In fact, most learning disabilities have a visual component from an uncorrected vision problem. Children with undiagnosed, untreated vision problems – sometimes mislabeled lazy or learning disabled — can experience trouble focusing between a book or electronic device and the blackboard, or controlling or coordinating eye movements. In today’s digital classroom, a student must see well to not only keep up but to excel.