Did you know one in four children has an undiagnosed vision problem? Right now when you purchase individual vision insurance from VSP Direct™ as a gift, a child in need receives a free eye exam and glasses. That means when you give the Gift of Sight from VSP, you give twice. Find out more at Thanks to VSP for sponsoring this post.
I wrote last week on 5 problems that could be resolved by getting your eyes checked, and this is a follow-up. My hopes in writing this are not that you feel guilted into doing something, but that perhaps by getting your kids’ eyes examined and cared for you can actually clear up, improve, or solve some problems that your child might already have.
25% of all students cannot read due to vision skills deficits. ~ National PTA
66% of illiterate adults cannot read due to vision skills deficits. ~ National Center on Adult Literacy
70% of juvenile delinquents cannot read due to vision skills deficits. ~ CA Youth Authority
90% of prison inmates cannot read due to vision skills deficits. ~ Folsom Prison Study
While outdated, these numbers are huge. I mean… they are staggering to me actually. I’m not hear to talk about chicken or the egg, but no one can debate the importance of education. And literacy is a huge part of education. I wonder how many classrooms and childrens’ lives would be different if they could just… well… see.
And I don’t know about you, but this isn’t really something you can do on your own to help other people who need it. You can cook a meal for someone who is hungry. You can babysit for a mother who is tired and needs a rest. You can drive someone to and from work if their car is in the shop. But you can’t fix their eyes! However, you can take care of your own eyes and someone else’s at the same time.
Of course one of the major reasons that people don’t get their children’s eyes checked is the cost. It can be difficult to pay basic bills, food, electricity, and clothes without adding “optional” check-ups like eye exams to the list. I know. I get that.
That’s why I was excited when I heard from VSP Direct. When a vision plan is purchased through them they provide a free eye exam and pair of glasses to a child who isn’t able to afford it. This is huge, and I think, an awesome initiative. Coming from someone who has had thousands of dollars worth of eye exams, glasses, and contacts over the years… that is a true blessing. Even a basic annual exam can locate problems and prevent them from turning into major or more permanent disabilities.
And so really (according to the stats above) giving someone the gift of better eye care may actually have a ripple effect that goes far beyond that one pair of glasses. It will follow them into the classroom, their own self-image, and their ability to – plain and simple – know what’s going on. So in a sense, VSP is giving children the chance to see better and have a better shot at the benefits education affords.
How vision affects learning
- Reading comprehension is hindered since kids will only be able to properly read things that are directly in front of them or under their own control, like a book.
- Can make children appear distracted, lazy, or like they aren’t paying attention when really they simply can’t visually follow.
- Some learning disabilities are actually visual because their eyes aren’t able to process what they’re seeing in an orderly way.
- Some disorders such as double vision get worse as the day progresses, meaning academic success will gradually decline throughout the day due to eye fatigue.
- Some kids are labeled as “problem children” in the classroom which affects their self-esteem and has a big impact on their trajectory.
- Difficulty in comprehension is common because of the difficulty of moving their eyes accurately.
- Headache, fatigue, and frustration are common side effects of vision problems in students.
Now again, I’m not writing this to make anyone feel bad that they haven’t taken their kids to the eye doctor yet. At all. In fact, until I started researching this for these posts, I hadn’t even realized that I should have already taken my 3 and 4 year olds in. We are right now in the process of finding a local doctor that takes our insurance so I can get both of the kids in.
Notes about taking 3 and 4 year olds to the eye doctor
- Little ones won’t be asked to identify letters (too much room for error) or shown two lenses and asked to choose which they can see better through, so don’t wait on this account.
- Older children may be shown images of objects, but it would be basic images.
- Doctors will examine the children’s eyes and from there determine if there are any issues they’ve noticed to be concerned about based on the actual eye exam.
Not only does VSP Vision Care (the largest not-for-profit vision benefits and services company in the US) give one free eye exam and glasses to a child in need with a purchase of a plan, they gave me a plan to give away. While I would have loved to give it to a student in need, I don’t know many students these days and I do know one person who gives gives gives to me all the time for nothing in return. And who has some eyes things going on and has for many years.
She works in the school system and is always serving teachers, students, and me and my own family. Mom has always had glasses and contacts and gives gives gives to all those around her. I hope this plan is a blessing for her as she is for us.
VSP’s #EyeGiveBack program actually is offering the free eye exam and glasses until December this. Visit the FAQ page if you have any questions. If you are in need of eye insurance because you have a child with vision issues, or if you want to take preventative measures and give back at the same time visit VSP Vision Care now and check out their plans.