80% of all learning during a child’s first 12 years of life is obtained through vision.
Over half of students identified as problem learners have undetected vision problems.
Children with vision problems may not recognize that they have difficulty seeing because they have “always seen this way,” or changes in their vision are so gradual that they go unnoticed.
A school vision evaluation or a pediatrician’s screening, while helpful, is not a substitute for a thorough eye examination from an eye doctor. Basic vision screenings detect children with easily identifiable vision problems, which could be as few as 5% of all potential vision problems in children.
If vision problems are missed during crucial times in development, the child’s eye health, development and learning performance may be negatively affected.
The State of Illinois requires all children, beginning kindergarten or entering any grade for the first time, or children who are transferring into Illinois from out of state, to have a comprehensive eye examination prior to starting school. The examination must be done by an optometrist or ophthalmologist. The results must be submitted to the school by the parents, on a form approved by the Illinois Department of Public Health. The examination may be done within one year prior to beginning school. This requirement began in 2008.