SeeSmart & CVCHelping Children's Eyes Work Together
Reading is fundamental to all education, and particularly for those pursuing higher education degrees or technical training.
Monroe County Children’s Vision Center (CVC), is a research based 501(c)3 non-profit corporation being established to provide diagnosis, quality vision therapy and other indicated vision care for children living in Monroe County, Mississippi, at no cost regardless of the family’s ability to pay. The mission is specifically to children from birth to 18 years of age diagnosed with vision disorders of the eye and visual processing disorders of the brain that might impact academic success. CVC will collect data from each patient according to pre-determined or subsequently established research goals and guidelines.
Vision is more than seeing an image; it is also interpreting what you see. You may see 20/20 (perfect acuity) but find reading is slow or difficult. Or you read and re-read a paragraph and wonder what it said. Your neighbor’s child may suffer balance problems. Perhaps your grandchild just doesn’t seem to “fit in”. Any of these may be the result of Binocular Vision Disorder (BVD), a condition where the eyes simply don’t work together properly.
BVD is often referred to as ”The Hidden Disability” and goes unrecognized by parents and teachers because the individual has always seen that way; however, research shows it occurs in approximately one quarter of any population worldwide. With over 8000 children in Monroe County, that means that approximately 2,000 children deserve a functional vision examination which includes tests not done in school screenings and not routinely done in most optometry offices.
A recent review of 407 special education students in just two districts of Monroe County found 170 children (42%) in need of a functional vision examination and possible Vision Therapy. That recommendation is based on teacher evaluations using the Quality of Life Checklist (QoL) found on the web site of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development.
Visual processing disorders of the brain may also impact academic success, learning and behavior, and are identified by checklists on the websites of the Irlen Institute and the College of Syntonic Optometry.
BVD and visual processing disorders of the brain are often found in conjunction with ADD/ADHD, autism spectrum disorders and traumatic brain injury (e.g. football injuries). Addressing the visual component does not “cure” any of these neurologic disorders, but does make treating the remaining symptoms easier and more successful.
It is important to properly identify and address these vision disorders to avoid long term potential consequences of perceived learning disabilities. But children’s vision affects much more than just their school work. Impaired vision also affects their self esteem and morale, and can lead them to become discouraged or even drop out of school. Students with an incomplete education are rarely prepared to join the work force effectively, which can lead to less constructive paths and even crime. According to Parents Active for Vision Education (PAVEVision.org) approximately 75% of juvenile delinquents have BVD. (See the extensive bibliography in Zaba, JN, Social, Emotional, & Educational Consequences of Undetected Children’s Vision Problems, J Behav Optom, 12/2001 (3) 66ff.)
Reading the Fine Print
Board of Directors
The board of Directors and Advisory Council, comprised of optometrists, educators, business professionals and lay people, will review all research protocols, on-site practices and collection of data. Among the Directors and Advisors are three past presidents of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD), the Dean of the College of Syntonic Optometry, and one past president.
MVC is formally partnered with Western University College of Optometry in Pamona, California. The Immediate Past President of COVD will serve as our Research Liaison to their Institutional Review Board, which will approve all research protocols.
The Monroe County Children’s Vision Center is a Mississippi Non-profit 501(c)(3) Corporation. Letter of Determination dated September 14, 2015.