Whether it’s playing with her big sister Hayden, Buddy the pony, or their three dogs, Bailee loves to be outside going full speed. She likes to do things for herself and loves to play, talk and joke around. “Her father and I often say she has quite the sense of humor for a 3-year-old,” said Brandin, Bailee’s mom. With her active play and ability to already pick out letters and numbers in books, Bailee didn’t show any obvious signs of difficulty with her sight. When KidSight came to her daycare in January for a vision screening, Brandin was happy to let Bailee participate. It was this very screening that identified Bailee with a potential vision problem.
As a mother and an educator, Laura of Jefferson City knows the importance of vision when it comes to childhood development and education. Laura became an even stronger advocate of healthy childhood vision after a KidSight vision screening detected her daughter Claire had a vision impairment that could have resulted in blindness if not treated.
“As an educator I feel like I have an advantage since I have personally experienced the screening and been through the treatment process as a parent,” said Laura. “The screeners have always been very patient and compassionate with our preschoolers.”
Whether it’s dashing across the field after a soccer ball or tapping out beats on the drums, four-year-old Hudson likes to be in the thick of the action. He also has a great imagination, enjoys art projects that involve coloring, cutting and taping things together and is already beginning to recognize words and letters in books. With his great eye-hand coordination and early ability to recognize letters, his parents Matt and Emily were surprised when a KidSight vision screening at his daycare identified Hudson may have a vision problem.
“I am a physician and this is something we still would never have caught without the screening because his one eye sees so well,” said Emily. “We took [the screening results] very seriously and got [an eye exam] scheduled in the next month.”
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.
Nurse Susan, RN, BSN, is a familiar face around the South Holt R-1 School District. For 32 years she’s worked with students from preschool through 12th grade to promote student wellness. That’s included coordinating KidSight vision screenings for the district’s youngest students to prevent childhood vision loss and ensure kids are prepared to learn.
“If you don’t identify a vision problem early, a child could start to fall behind in school or be diagnosed with a learning disability,” said Susan. “Your primary grades are the foundation – birth to 3 is so critical for cognitive development, eye-hand-coordination, fine motor skills and visual tracking. Your eyes have to work with everything to succeed.”
Jameson, a 4-year old with a vivid imagination, sits intently at the kitchen table assembling his favorite super hero puzzle. Being able to see the shape of the pieces and the images on the puzzle helps him put the many pieces together, just like being able to see the letters of words helps him read and learn. Able to recite the alphabet since he was a year and half old, Jameson has always been advanced for his age. But when KidSight provided free vision screenings at his preschool, Jameson’s parents found out he had a previously undetected vision problem that could have left him blind in one eye.
Xavion is an active and cheerful 4-year-old who loves to be outside on the swings. His mom Tina says he talks a mile a minute, likes to joke with others and has a hard, deep laugh that leaves those around him with a smile on their face. But when Xavion would trip or sometimes run into walls, it wasn’t to get a laugh. A KidSight vision screening at his St. Louis preschool identified a possible vision problem for the jovial preschooler. Tina knew the importance of healthy vision to Xavion’s success in school and sought treatment right away.
“He loved writing, but would get frustrated and I think it was his vision,” said Tina. “When I read him a book he’d point to something and say the thing that was above it. He’s a very sweet kid, and I believe that his vision has been holding him back a little bit.”