Now Is Right Time To Check Child’s Ability To Learn
Mind-Eye Institute’s Mission: Use 21st Century Science to Build Better Brains
Schools still closed? Children confined at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic? If you are a parent, now is the time to pay closer attention to “cues and clues” that may indicate how well your child is reading, comprehending and, in general, learning.
Children who have trouble developing basic reading skills, cannot remember what they are reading or what is read to them, fumble when reading aloud, or exhibit difficulties focusing and concentrating may require more than a simple eye examination to check the clarity of their eyesight. They could have underdeveloped visual skills. For instance, their central and peripheral eyesight may not be interacting appropriately and/or their eyesight and listening abilities are uncoordinated or they have trouble visualizing.
Visual processing skills are essential to all aspects of learning – for both children and adults. The term “visual processing” refers to the brain’s almost-instantaneous ability – consciously and subconsciously – to take in external sensory signals (from eyesight, hearing, smell, taste and touch), combine them with a person’s internal sensory signals and then synthesize – process — the information, allowing a person to react and respond normally to his or her environment.
If brain circuitry is out of synchronization because it is under-developed or disrupted by injury or disease, people can become confused about their surrounding environment, have a narrowed perception and awareness and exhibit inappropriate reactions and responses or experience difficulties in learning.
Unfortunately, most current eyesight tests are based on 20/20 standards established in the 1800s. Those tests evaluate central eyesight by requiring a patient to fixate conscious attention on non-moving targets – letters and numbers on an eye chart – but do not emphasize peripheral visual processing, which comprises an overwhelming percentage of a person’s visual awareness.
An optometrist may determine that a child has 20/20 eyesight with or without glasses, and a hearing specialist conclude that this same child has normal hearing ability, but, too often, children are entering kindergarten and higher grades without parents knowing how well these sensory systems work together.
In the school setting, a student must use some of their many visual systems to maintain awareness of a teacher’s facial expressions, body posture and movements while also looking at information presented on a classroom screen or board and simultaneously listening and comprehending what the teacher is saying. The ability to shift gaze and attention from teacher to board to book and to notes during classes needs to be automated, synchronized and accomplished by “tuning out” distractions, such as the whispering of nearby students or sounds of others shuffling papers. Many visual and auditory systems must be combined to achieve efficient school performance.
Our sensory systems are like musicians in an orchestra. Each musician may be highly skilled in a specific instrument, but without a conductor synchronizing what they are playing, the result is simply noise – not music.
Too frequently, a child struggling to learn is diagnosed as having a neurological problem, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), when what the child truly requires is testing to determine how well his or her eyes, ears and other sensory systems are integrated.
The mission of the Mind-Eye Institute is to build better brains – not merely enhance clarity of central eyesight. Using the science of 21st century neuro-optometric rehabilitation combined with new mind-eye techniques, we can develop and solidify new brain pathways that enable reading and learning and help ensure a child’s academic success.
Neuro-optometric rehabilitation applies the concept of mind-eye testing – versus simply eye testing – to prescribe therapeutic eyeglasses, as well as filters, prisms or other optometric appliances, on a very individualized basis in order to stimulate the retina. The retina is composed of brain tissue and, by using “brain” glasses to modify the way lights passes through it, we can bring sensory systems into synchronization and alter a child’s – or an adult’s – environment.
If you know your child is smart but are left wondering why he or she “just doesn’t get it,” consider scheduling your child for a complete assessment at the Mind-Eye Institute and participating in our upcoming brand-new, weekly Webinar series, Reading Readiness Skills. The Webinar is available soon. Go to our website at www.mindeye.com for more information or write to email@example.com.
Stay safe and healthy!
Deborah Zelinsky, O.D.
Founder, Executive Research Director
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Mind-Eye Featured in the News Media
Newspapers and television stations throughout the country have been reporting on the work of the Mind-Eye Institute. Read the articles below to learn more about what the Mind-Eye Institute is doing to pioneer change in how optometric evaluations are performed in the 21st Century.
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