Imagine not knowing there are individual leaves on a tree you pass every day or being tested for a learning disability that you don’t really have – all because you can’t see! These are two of the stories we often hear from the parents of children who have had a vision problem detected and treated through our Preschool Vision Screening Program. Unfortunately, many children with undiagnosed visual impairments believe the way they see is the way everyone sees – even if it’s blurry. And because some vision problems don’t present with signs or symptoms, early childhood vision problems can be difficult to detect without a proper vision screening. That’s why our preschool team has been gearing up to conduct vision screenings for over 30,000 preschoolers across NC in the upcoming school year! The start of school is always a busy time for our partnership with early childhood programs such as Head Start, NC PreK, Title 1 PreK and childcare centers. The program provides state-of-the-art photo-refractive vision screenings for preschoolers in over 40 counties each year in an effort to find vision problems early, when treatment is most effective. Our screenings also allow these programs to meet federal and state mandates for providing vision screenings for their students as part of their enrollment requirements. Thanks to a state appropriation and the support of many local foundations, we provide this vital preventative service to these programs at no cost to them or their families, as well as access to free follow-up care for those in financial need. We are providing vision services that many of these children would not likely receive otherwise.
We also strive to educate center staff and parents about the importance of healthy vision for all aspects of a child’s development. We provide them all with the following resource for recognizing signs and symptoms when interacting with children in the classroom or at home. The sooner a problem can be detected and treated, the better the outcome.
If you are part of an early childhood program or childcare center that would be interested in participating in our vision screening program, please feel free to contact us at 919-755-5044 x 105. We would be happy to partner with you to help ensure the best sight possible for your young children.