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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.

Eye Coordination Problems Can Make Words “Hop Like Frogs”


20th Anniversary of August is National Children’s Vision and Learning Month

“More than 5 million children in the U.S. have eye coordination and eye focusing disorders which cause them to continue struggling with reading despite the best interventions,” shares Dr. Kara Heying, OD, FCOVD, President of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD); “Children don’t know how they are supposed to see, so they rarely complain; they show us they have a problem with their behavior.”

Jude was a bright and inquisitive child, yet he struggled to learn how to read. “His attention span was not age-appropriate for a first grader. Test questions were left unanswered and marked wrong, even though he knew the material. Meltdowns became a common occurrence during homework time. He started becoming indifferent to any consequences, insisting that he was trying his best,” explains his mother Trenna Stout; “Our happy child was slowly becoming an unhappy, frustrated boy.”

When his parents voiced their concerns that their child wasn’t reading, his pediatrician explained it away by saying he was “a precocious boy” while and his teachers used words like “energetic” and “active”. His reluctance to read was deemed a behavioral issue and generally disregarded.

Despite these explanations and the reassurance that he would eventually catch up, Jude’s reading continued to lag behind. Fortunately for the Stout family, Trenna is a reading interventionist and was therefore able to use her skills to work with her son directly. Taking the issue into her own hands, she asked him many questions about reading, such as, “Do you get headaches? Do your eyes get tired? Do the words get blurry?” He responded with, “No mommy, but the words hop like frogs on the page and punctuation gets smaller and smaller…until POOF, they disappear!”

Click here for the rest of the story

“It is vital that parents know the signs to look for,” states Dr. Heying; “Seeing 20/20 is just the beginning. All it means is you are able to see a certain size letter from a distance of 20 feet; so even children who can see 20/20 can have eye coordination problems.”

The 5 most common signs that a vision problem may be interfering with reading and learning are:
  1. Difficulty completing homework
  2. Inattentive or easily distracted
  3. Loss of place when reading
  4. Eyes are uncomfortable or sore when reading
  5. Gets tired when reading
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

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.

With love and gratitude,

Lynn Fishman Hellerstein, O.D., FCOVD, FAAO
August is National Vision & Learning Month - A Helpful Guide from COVD

Upcoming Events:

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