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Children Need Eye Exams Too

Recently in the clinic, a teacher brought in a young lad. He noticed the boy could not see whatever was written on the board even from the front row seats. The teacher was commended for being kind and proactive. This young lad could barely see anything displayed at the normal test distance.

Further investigations revealed that his vision has been this way for as long as he could remember. His parents were very much aware and they scolded him for sitting too close to the TV, scolded him for holding his book too close to his face, and scolded him for every other ‘abnormal’ behaviour, even though they were no fault of his.

The teacher said he’s awfully quiet in school, never interested in fun activities, and too shy to participate in anything. This may be the result of being ridiculed severally by his peers and a loss of trust in his vision and in the belief in self to make proper judgments from what he saw.

Eye examinations showed that high powered lenses improved his vision. Since his poor vision was left unchecked for so long, the lenses couldn’t give him standard vision but what he got was a lot better than the vision he came with.

Oh! The smile on his face was priceless! His face suddenly lit up like a Christmas tree when he saw he could read much smaller letters on display from the standard test distance. He understood that meant he didn’t have to seat so close to the TV anymore, he didn’t have to go so close to the board to see what his teacher wrote and that for him meant less ridicule from his mates and less scolding from his parents.

His stance automatically changed when he eventually got his pair of glasses. He walked with his head up and shoulders high as he left the clinic, exuding so much confidence.

In some homes, parents yell at their kids: ‘Don’t sit close to the TV! You are damaging your eyes!’ and at the clinic, some parents say: ‘My daughter doesn’t need glasses o!’ or

‘How can my son wear glasses when he’s only 8yrs old? What will he wear when he’s 20?’ (smiles)

Dear parents/guardians and teachers, understand that vision affects your children/wards’ learning and development. If you notice children/wards sitting very close to the television, tilting his/her head or squinting his/her eyes to focus; holding books or objects abnormally close to the face; or displaying a general lack of interest in reading, kindly take the child for a comprehensive eye examination.

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