Screening Is So Important
few children complain about vision problems because they have no
way of knowing that their vision is not normal. To them, it is "normal"
because it is the only vision they have ever known. Most parents
are comfortable with the thought that their child's primary care
physician will discover any eye problems but unfortunately, these
studies have shown that these providers identify as few as 25% of
children with serious problems such as amblyopia. School and Preschool
screening programs can help detect these serious problems.
of the Economic Benefits of Early Detection of Eye Problems
addition to the impact on a child's welfare and development, the
early detection of eye problems results in direct short-term economic
benefits to the educational system and to society.
child who cannot see well will start their education at a disadvantage.
Children who start behind often stay behind.
the negative side, if eye problems are not found early
who are behind consume a disproportionate share of teachers' time.
who remain behind later become at risk of failing or dropping
out. It requires substantial funding to help these students.
every teacher knows of students who have been labeled LD or placed
in Special Ed when the problem ultimately was found to be that
the child simply could not see well. These students require significantly
more financial resources than "normal" students.
disproportionate percentage of "Special Ed" students
have undetected eye problems. VRC routinely finds 2 to 5 or more
times as many eye problems in this group.
disproportionate percentage of juvenile delinquents (an expensive
problem for society) have undetected vision problems.
a short period of uncorrected poor eyesight can have a significantly
adverse affect on the child's ongoing educational performance,
which in turn affects their performance, position, employability
and economic contribution (or cost) throughout life.
the positive side, in addition to the savings in the above areas
when eye problems are detected early
to 10% of all children have an eye problem significant enough to
warrant professional attention. Assume only half of these, say 5%,
have their vision (and thus their "educability") improved
as a result of the eye screening program. Conservatively estimate
that because they can see better, they are 20% more "educable".
Improving the educability of 5% of the students by 20% is equivalent
to an increase of 1% in educability for all students.