Struggling Students
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Dr. Lynn Hellerstein

Struggling Students

A Global Problem with a Universal Solution According to the College of Optometrists in Vision Development

For millions of parents, back to school means back to the search for answers to their children’s learning difficulties. While many parents are hopeful the new teacher will have a magic bullet, others are just as frustrated as when the previous school year ended. “There is a light at the end of the tunnel,” says Dr. David Damari, President of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD), “Statistically more than 60% of children who struggle with reading have underlying vision problems contributing to their challenges.”

But it’s not the type of vision problem most people think of. Most of the children who have vision problems that interfere with reading and learning can actually see the letters on the eye chart just fine. So when parents are told their children have passed a vision screening, what they are really being told is that their child can see clearly far away. But the problem lies in what was not tested – how well the two eyes work together when reading, how they move on the page or track a line of print, to name a few of the 17 visual skills required for academic success.

August has been declared Vision and Learning Month since 1995. The goal of this national observance is to help educate parents and educators about the critical link between vision and learning. It doesn’t really matter what the curriculum is or even what country you are in, when children have underlying vision problems contributing to their learning challenges, they continue to struggle until the vision problem is corrected.

At Hellerstein & Brenner Vision Center, P.C., we have seen many children in the Denver-Metro area, who had struggled for years before finding out they had an underlying vision problem. When children struggle with reading and learning it can cost their parents dearly in time, money, and frustration. In addition, there are significant costs to the schools when students have undiagnosed vision disorders. Click here and here to hear from some of our successful patients on how vision therapy has changed their lives.

As the new school year rounds the corner, NOW is the perfect time to make sure your child has all the visual skills required for academic success. For more information, or to find a doctor near you visit covd.org.


About COVD

The College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) is an international, non-profit optometric membership organization that provides education, evaluation, and board certification programs in behavioral and developmental vision care, vision therapy, and visual rehabilitation. The organization is comprised of doctors of optometry, vision therapists and other vision specialists. For more information on learning-related vision problems, vision therapy and COVD, please visit covd.org or call 888.268.3770.

A series of public service announcements (PSAs) are available at covd.org to help raise awareness that vision problems can not only interfere with learning, but sports performance, and other activities of daily living. These PSAs also address vision problems that impact individuals who have autism spectrum disorders or those who have suffered a head injury.

It’s not too late! School is just starting. Make sure your child has the visual skills he/she needs to have a successful year.

With love and gratitude,


Lynn Fishman Hellerstein, O.D., FCOVD, FAAO

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