Learning Disability Awareness Month

Inadequate Vision Screenings Contributing to Epidemic of Children with Learning Problems

Only two years after The Nation’s Report Card showed that only 38% of students could read at or above the level of “proficient,” our nation’s children continue to struggle with reading – at epidemic levels.  Many parents are told their children aren’t far enough behind to warrant special services at school, yet they continue to struggle with reading and learning.  Other children are misdiagnosed with learning disabilities when in fact they have undiagnosed vision problems at the root of their struggles.

“In June 2011, we featured a story about educators in New Jersey who routinely screen for learning-related vision problems. Their district had one of the lowest rates of student classification for special education services in their county,” states Dr. Kara Heying, President of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD). “In addition, parents shared that optometric vision therapy was one of the interventions that makes a big difference in their children’s ability to read and learn.”

It is a logical assumption that checking hearing and vision would be one of the first steps to identify why a child is struggling with reading. While eyesight, or visual acuity, is typically assessed, the main test is whether a child can see certain-sized letters from a distance of 20 feet (hence the term “20/20”). However, reading occurs at approximately 6 to 15 inches. People mistakenly assume that, if distance vision is fine, then vision at reading distance will be as well. This unfortunately means that vision isn’t tested at reading distance, nor are eye coordination and focusing taken into account.

Optometric research has shown that more than 10 million children struggle with reading and learning because of eye coordination and eye focusing disorders. Research also clearly indicates that both of these disorders are very treatable with optometric vision therapy. “While there is no critical period or age limit for vision therapy, early identification is always recommended,” states Dr. Heying.

“Most children who are having trouble with reading after working on it for four, or five, or six years are not easy to fix. They believe they are just stupid or just can’t do it. Why? Almost never are they stupid,” shares Katie Johnson, author of Red Flags for Elementary Teachers. Ms. Johnson has taught first grade, in both Maine and Washington, for 37 of the 46 years she has been a teacher. In addition, she has worked as an adjunct professor of literacy in the teacher-training programs of Pacific Oaks College (California) and University of Washington (Bothell campus), as well as in the graduate school of Lesley University (Cambridge, Massachusetts), and has done a multitude of professional development presentations all over the United States.

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Limit Screen Time

Are you or your kids always on your devices? Myopia is on the rise! Myopia is more commonly known as nearsightedness and increases with the more you use your devices. Don’t let it overcome you or your child. A great way to combat the onset of myopia is to go outside and give your device a break. Your eyes need time away from devices (phones, tablets, computers, televisions) to stay healthy. Our exams include a free screening of the risk factors that contribute to myopia. Give us a call at (714) 961-2020 to schedule an appointment today! Click on the link below to find out more about myopia and myopia control. https://visionhelp.wordpress.com/2018/08/09/the-boss-of-myopia/

Are You Colorblind?

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What colors do you see in the picture above? To people with red-green colorblindness, the colors on the left and right sides mirror each other. Red-green colorblindness is common and results in red, green, and orange looking like muddy shades of yellow and purple that looks bluish. About 1 in every 20 people has it. We can see color thanks to the receptors at the back of our eye that pick up light. The typical eye uses three kinds of light sensors, each detecting different hues. Colorblindness could be caused by a missing set of receptors or out of tune ones. Colorblindness can result in off-limit jobs or activities. Researchers have recently created glasses to help with this problem. Maybe one day a lack of color vision won’t be an issue at all.

How vision impacts reading, learning and attention through the eyes of an educational specialist

Behavioral optometry can treat what appears to be learning disorders.

The VisionHelp Blog

When a child struggles to read it can be very frustrating, not just for the child but for the parents and the teachers.  No parent wants to see their child having trouble with something as important as reading. The same is true for teachers. In many school systems, teachers are now expected to have their students reach certain reading standards and if they don’t, that child may be faced with repeating a grade level.

Meet Wendy Rosen,  a former classroom teacher and educational consultant and author of the new book: The Hidden Link Between Vision and Learning, Why Millions of Learning Disabled Children are MisdiagnosedIn this 6 minute VisionHelp interview, which premiered at the 2017 COVD Annual Meeting, Wendy gives an explanation for why so many children struggle with vision-based learning problems and how to find help they need.

Dan L. Fortenbacher, O.D., FCOVD

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Miss Alabama Wins Quality of Life Award for Children’s Vision Initiatives

Vision Therapy and the Importance of Comprehensive Eye Exams not School Screenings!
Don’t let your child fail because you don’t know his vision is the problem

The VisionHelp Blog

hayley-barber

Out of 52 contestants, Hayley Barber, Miss Alabama 2016, was named the winner of Miss America’s Jean Bartel Quality of Life Award during the second night of preliminaries in Atlantic City. Barber’s platform “Sight for Small Eyes,” encourages eye examinations for young children and raises funds to provide vision therapy for children with low vision through Sight Savers America, a non-profit in Pelham.  Her main goal is to get legislation passed that would require comprehensive eye examinations before entering school.

Barber took a year off of her studies as a UAB undergraduate to fulfill her duties as Miss Alabama. She plans to continue her formal education in graduate school for Optometry after her year is completed. Eventually, she wants to open her own private pediatric optometry practice.

Part of her optometry education will be funded by Miss America STEM Scholarship Award. The award is presented to Miss America contestants with…

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Homework without Tears: Hannah’s Story

At Yorba Linda Optometry and Beyond Dr. Marran provides a FREE SCREENING for Vision Problem that can interfere with learning. Going Beyond whether a child has 20/20 eye sight, Dr. Marran tests the Visual System for eye teaming, eye tracking, eye focusing weaknesses

Mindsight

Hannah once excelled in all things learning-related. Through first grade, she was academically and socially talented, and her parents Scot and Mandy got nothing but good feedback from her teachers.

But when the next school year started, so did Hannah’s struggles, culminating in a significant drop in her grades in the 3rd grade. Homework that should have taken her an hour or less started taking two or three, usually accompanied by temper tantrums and tears. “I can’t tell you how many tear-stained assignments she turned in,” her parents recall, “We tried tutors and after-school programs for her over the next year or so but did not see a significant improvement.”

Luckily for the family, Hannah’s grandmother is a learning disabilities teacher and knew exactly how to recognize struggles in school. While she watched Hannah read, she noticed that her eyes were not moving in straight lines (tracking) across…

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Age-Related Lenticular Degeneration Revisited – Part 1

ALZHEIMER CLUES IN THE LENS OF THE EYE

The VisionHelp Blog

The notion of AMD, or age-related macular degeneration, is commonplace.  It is a consequence of aging and represents a vexing degenerative process because it is so challenging to treat.  The crystalline lens of the eye doesn’t garner as much attention in aging because cataract surgery and implantation with IOLs has become so commonplace, and in most cases so successful.  Cataract is best conceived as lenticular degeneration, what I’ve previously proposed to call ALD and the anterior counterpart of AMD.

The Gulden Ophthalmics cataract (ALD) model is an effective chairside communication aid that models what happens to the crystalline lens in various types of cataract.  We reassure patients that cataract is not a growth, but a clouding of the natural lens inside the eye.  And when that cloudy lens interferes with visual function, the surgeon will extract the old lens and implant a new one.  Out with the old and in…

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How Scary are Halloween Contact Lenses? Get the Facts before making a big mistake.

Last year I was shopping with my daughter in a Halloween costume shop when one of the sales clerks was really scared!  Turns out he could not remove his Halloween Contact Lenses that had been in his eyes for days- He had bought them online. This naive young man was at risk of a cornea ulcer and losing his vision …all in the spirit of fun. Check out this FDA released video about your risks and the illegality of online contact lens sales

Why your kids should spend more time outside playing!

Children are 10% less likely to become nearsighted-need glasses to see far away- by spending just 40 minutes a day outside. What else can you do to prevent myopia or nearsightedness in your children. Dr. Marran earned her doctorate specializes in how the eyes focus. Problems focusing can create the symptoms that require glasses.

Dr Marran treats the focusing problem rather than the symptoms allowing kids and young adults to avoid needing glasses. Call us Today 714 961 2020 to learn more!_MG_7771

Avoiding Fat in your Diet? Not as good idea as it seems

CreditPaul Rogers
Personal Health
PERSONAL HEALTH

Jane Brody on health and aging.

The nutritional pickle so many Americans are now in is largely a result of “an oversimplification of dietary recommendations that created a fat phobia,” Dr. Frank B. Hu of the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health told me.

Starting in the 1970s, when accumulating evidence from animal and human studies showed that a diet high in saturated fats and cholesterol was an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease, dietary guidelines urged people to eat less fat.

Although health advice focused on saturated fats from high-fat animal foods, many people generalized the advice to mean all fats, choosing in their stead a panoply of reduced-fat and fat-free foods rich in carbohydrates, from crackers to sweetened yogurts. They especially increased their consumption of two kinds of carbohydrates, refined starches and sugars, that have helped to spawn the current epidemic of obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

Experts now realize that efforts to correct past dietary sins that made heart disease and stroke runaway killers have caused the pendulum to swing too far in the wrong direction.

“The mistake made in earlier dietary guidelines was an emphasis on low-fat without emphasizing the quality of carbohydrates, creating the impression that all fats are bad and all carbs are good,” Dr. Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology, said. “It’s really important to distinguish between healthy fats and bad fats, healthy carbs and bad carbs.”

He explained that saturated fat, found in fatty animal foods like meats and dairy products, raises blood levels of cholesterol and is not healthy, “but olive oil is important — it’s beneficial for cardiovascular health and body weight.” Olive oil, like canola, avocado and nut oils, is monounsaturated, and while it has as many calories as meat and dairy fat, it does not raise serum cholesterol or foster fat-clogging deposits in blood vessels.

“We have to get out of the fat phobia mind-set,” Dr. Hu stressed, adding that we also have to abandon the idea that all complex carbohydrates are good.

Sugars are simple carbohydrates and starches are complex carbohydrates; all are ultimately broken down into glucose, the body fuel that circulates in blood. Sugars are digested rapidly, quickly raising blood glucose, but most starches take longer to digest.

Important exceptions are refined carbohydrates, like white bread and white rice. Starchy foods with highly processed grains that have been stripped of dietary fiber act more like sugar in the body. They are rapidly digested and absorbed, raising blood levels of glucose and prompting the secretion of insulin to process it. When consumed in excess of the body’s need for immediate and stored energy, refined carbs and sugars can result in insulin resistance and contribute to fatty liver disease.