What are Healthy & Functional Eyes?
The answer is quite simple—it is the two eyes that work together without limitation or hindrance to see all that is before us so that we READ WITH FLUENCY AND COMPREHENSION. Like all parts of our body, our vision development takes time.
Initially we see shadows; then shapes, then objects, then; as toddlers we see pictures, and; then we see and learn letters ….then print gets smaller. By 7 ½ or 8 years of age our eyes should function well with the ability to adapt as needed and to read. Reading requires (2) eyes to function together and quickly, and/or they can be trained to read at every age. We need specific skills working effectively, responsive & functional in our vision to read.
Let’s talk first about those skills for near -point reading i.e., books;
- First Books Have Large Print -- Toddlers.-We look at a picture on page while seeing parents read.
- Second We Sit Next to Parents while Reading--Pre-K. Then we see more lines of print on a page and smaller pictures- pre-K While listening to story we see the printing. (Time now to start visual function games i.e., mazes, puzzles, two arm ball throws, picking up buttons etc…!)
- Third we see the words as we follow along with our fingers-- 2nd grade. More words and less pictures. Some letters still are reversing.
- Then we drop the print size more and lessen the pictures and start the paragraphs—3rd grade. We start the paragraphs. Now at 7-8 years old - digit span issues may still exist and tracking skills may become a problem as they are now employed. To follow along the line and line wrap through to the next line. Many kids have problems with this and skip words & lines. Here and now reading problems for 17-20% or 1 in 5 kids begin. And/or then, the chalkboard desk work with vision focus and timing is delayed in vision at this time of need.. These kids are now left behind!
EYES and VISION must have the associated eye function skills for each of the above:
- Must have the skill to use both eyes together to focus on a point 12-14 inches away and maintain that focus (Movement --Convergence & Alignment).
- Must have the ability to move the eyes together and consistently along a line. One eye leads in milliseconds as it (speaks to the brain) and recognizes the word then word groups as it moves on (Convergence and Tracking Ability).
- Must have the ability to hold focus, track along a line ; stay on the line until the end of that line, then return, refocus quickly on the next line down while maintaining fluency and with comprehension of what is read.
Or….WE CAN NOT READ!
And…NONE of these functions in vision are Medical Vision Problems!
ONE WORD AT A TIME READING BY END OF 3rd GRADE is still ILLITERACY
How do KIDS GROW BAD!
HIS NAME IS ALEX!
At this normal middle school, a youth was screened and accepted into our FVYD program because he had functional vision issues. He also had an attitude! I was told by school staff, ‘Don’t mess with this Kid he is bad!” He had previously been held back 4 times in 6th grade and was a very large adolescent youth. He fought regularly & was suspended often. His mother was notified that FVYD could help her son. She said, “No!” She said that his Eye Doctor said his eyes were (medically) healthy and normal. Her son was soon moved to a “Behavioral Alternative” School. Fortunately, our FVYD program was there also. This youth tried there as well (and several times) to get into our FVYD program for Reading. From his first FVYD screening experience he knew we could help him.
OUR (FVYD) KIDS ARE THOSE KIDS WHO CAN NOT SEE TO READ and therefore they read without fluency and/or one-word-at-a-time. (If there is no fluency, there is no comprehension and this continues until we fix these issues for many of these 17-20% or 1 in 5 kids). Finally he got his sister to ask his teacher to call his mom and beg her to get him into our FVYD program. He finally got in and we fixed his vision, he missed the program, but; none the less he felt a whole lot better about himself---because now he knows and forever that it was not his fault he failed in school. He is a small business owner now and is doing well--last time I saw him I got a BEAR hug from this Big Young Man!
One in five children have these functional eye issues, 20+%. Fixing their vision to Read is much better than Guns with Triggers in their hands. Superintendents must open the doors to their schools to let FVYD in for all ages 3rd grade on!