David sits on his knees at the kitchen table gazing intently at the sheet of construction paper he holds in his hands. Maneuvering scissors around the lines as he cuts the shapes on the paper is a challenging task for the three-year-old, but he’s focused. As David’s mom Sarah walks through the room, she remembers a time not too long ago her persistent preschooler wouldn’t even pick up a pair of scissors. But since a KidSight vision screening identified a problem with David’s vision, with glasses on, he’s been developing his fine motor skills through regular cutting practice.
In April 2016, David received a free KidSight vision screening at his preschool. It wasn’t until reading the referral card they received that night that David’s parents discovered their son had a vision problem that could have caused permanent vision loss if left untreated. At the direction of KidSight, Sarah and Steve took David to have a full eye exam with an optometrist. “David’s optometrist, Dr. Rosen, informed me that David would have probably had a lazy eye within a year if we had not sought out treatment,” said Sarah. She added that David’s vision was even worse than the KidSight screening detected and that it’s important to follow up as soon as possible when you get the referral.
David was prescribed glasses to correct his farsightedness and is adjusting well to his new spectacles. “It has taken him about a month to wear them fully and know how to take care for them,” said Sarah. “He enjoys cleaning them and taking on the responsibility of making sure we keep them safe.”
Since getting his glasses David has tried cutting for the first time and his teachers say his behavior in the classroom has improved as well. “I think he couldn’t see exactly what they wanted him to write or trace,” said Sarah, adding that correcting David’s vision problem early will greatly impact his education and help him write, cut, recognize letters and eventually read.
“I would tell parents not to ignore the KidSight referral and seek out intervention immediately. I would also suggest researching optometrists that specialize or have worked with children,” said Sarah. “The optometrist that I took David to has worked with children for a long time and had the proper equipment to test his eyes and his patience allowed David to feel relaxed through the process.”
KidSight provides an online Eye Doctor Search tool to connect parents with child-friendly eye doctors who can examine and/or treat children. Eye doctors recommend that all children receive an eye exam before starting grade school, and that children with vision or learning problems should get exams earlier. Regular eye exams can help make sure your child has the healthy vision they need to succeed in school. The KidSight Vision Screening Program helps ensure kids with undetected vision problems visit an eye doctor and get the care they need to prevent possible long-term vision loss.
“Without the KidSight Program, we would not have known that David needed glasses. I really appreciate this service,” said Sarah.