847.501.2020

Mind•Eye Media:

Optometrist to Address Congressional Caucus On Evaluating Children for Eye-Ear Coordination 

Mind-Eye Institute Founder Says Current Eye Testing Needs Updates

Standard eye tests do not check how well a person’s eyesight and hearing are coordinated, and this gap in testing is impacting many children’s abilities to learn, says an internationally noted expert, who will discuss the issue before a United States Congressional group on Feb. 25.

Deborah Zelinsky, O.D., founder and executive research director of the Mind-Eye Institute in Northbrook, Ill., will present her case on eye-ear integration testing during the Ninth Annual Brain Mapping Day at the United States Congress, a joint event between the Congressional Neuroscience Caucus, the Society for Brain Mapping & Therapeutics (SBMT), the Brain Mapping Foundation and the National Center for NanoBioElectronics. Dr. Zelinsky is a new member of the SBMT board.

Brain Mapping Day focuses on “educating policymakers about state-of-the-art diagnostics, technology and therapeutics in clinical translational neuroscience.” Main themes of this year’s program are brain health, opioid addiction, mental health and neurotechnology.

“Most states have laws that mandate evaluation of a child’s eyesight and hearing separately but such testing does not determine how well the two sensory systems work together,” says Dr. Zelinsky. Rep. Lou Lang had previously sponsored a bill to amend the current kindergarten testing in Illinois to include an eye-ear integration screening. The House of Representatives voted 111-1 to have a pilot program; the Senate put the bill on hold, allocating requested funding elsewhere.

A percentage of children now labelled as learning-challenged and placed in special education classes could return to regular mainstream classrooms if their visual and auditory signals were properly coordinated, Dr. Zelinsky contends.

“An optometrist may determine a child has 20/20 eyesight clarity with or without glasses, and a hearing specialist conclude that this same child has normal hearing ability, but children are entering kindergarten without knowing how well these sensory systems work together,” says Dr. Zelinsky.

“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,” she states.

Dr. Zelinsky has long emphasized that state and national laws – and methods of testing – must change to counter what experts are calling a “rise in learning disabilities.”

The longtime Northbrook optometrist was invited to be part of the renowned neuroscience team traveling to Washington, D.C., because of her understanding of how changes in light on the retina can impact brain function. “In the school setting, a student has to maintain awareness of a teacher’s facial expressions, body posture and movements while looking at information presented on a classroom screen or board and simultaneously listening and comprehending what the teacher is saying,” Dr. Zelinsky explains. “Shifting gaze – and attention — from teacher to note-taking needs to be automated, synchronized and accomplished by ‘tuning out’ distractions, such as whispering of nearby students or sounds of others shuffling papers. Many visual and auditory systems must be combined.”

Like eye-hand coordination, synchronization of sight and sound does not fully develop in a child until about age 7 or 8, Oftentimes, learning expectations of children at earlier age levels surpass their developmental stage. Similarly, a child’s struggles to learn after age 8 can be due to under-developed visual-hearing linkage, says Dr. Zelinsky.

Years ago, reading was not heavily emphasized until the third grade, when children had a more solid eye-ear connection. Now, even preschoolers are being taught how to recognize sight words (visual development) and how to sound out words (auditory development). If the child has not linked the two systems, they will either be a poor speller or be unable to sound out words easily, Dr. Zelinsky says.

“If brain circuitry is out of sync 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. When central and peripheral eyesight do not interact appropriately and/or the sensory systems of eyes and ears are uncoordinated, children and adults have to continuously monitor their attention, and such constant effort becomes exhausting,” Dr. Zelinsky says.

Too frequently, a child who struggles to learn is diagnosed as having a neurological problem, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and is transferred into a special-education program, when what the child actually requires is testing to determine how well his or her eyes, ears and other sensory systems are integrated, she says.

Through proper evaluation of sensory systems and use of therapeutic lenses – “brain” glasses, the Mind-Eye team has been transforming the classroom lives of children.

Unfortunately, most current eyesight tests are based on standards established in the 1800s. They evaluate central eyesight by requiring a patient to fix conscious attention on non-moving targets – letters and numbers on an eye chart – and don’t emphasize peripheral retinal processing, which comprises an overwhelming percentage of a person’s visual awareness, including awareness of movement and reaction time.

“Our conscious attention – central eyesight — focuses on only a small section (approximately 6 percent) of our environment, but that limited area generates and sends to our brains nearly one million bits of information. The other 94 percent of our visual surroundings – peripheral eyesight — may trigger fewer signals, yet those signals are processed faster and directed to multiple brain pathways. That’s why we must use peripheral and central eyesight in tandem to scan and shift our gaze from place to place and assess movement, shape, size, color, contour, and details of objects,” says Dr. Zelinsky.

Eyesight screenings today are similar to the testing Ulysses S. Grant underwent when he was attending West Point — cover one eye and identify a letter on a chart, Dr. Zelinsky says. “We are almost 20 years into the 21st century. Time to leave historic 20/20 eye testing where it belongs – back in the 20th century!”

Take The 60 Second Mind•Eye Brain Quiz

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 and its mission to “Leave 20/20 in the 20th Century.” To learn more about what the Mind-Eye Institute is doing to pioneer these changes in optometric evaluations , click here:

Who Is That Masked Man? Our Children Need to Know

Mind•Eye Media: Who Is That Masked Man? Our Children Need to Know   Important Visual Cues Lie Hidden Behind COVID-19 Facial MasksLet’s face it.  Masks may be protecting us from the COVID-19 virus, but they are covering much of our facial expressions, which play a key...

Mind-Eye Glasses Get Him Jogging to the Train Station

Success Stories: Mind-Eye Glasses Get Him Jogging to the Train Station Filters on Lenses Help Restore Sense of Balance; He’s Back to Teaching Clinton Wooderson felt so good after donning a pair of the Mind-Eye Institute’s “brain” glasses that he suggested something...

‘Brain’ Glasses Put Her Back on the Forest Hiking Trails

Success Stories: ‘Brain’ Glasses Put Her Back on the Forest Hiking Trails Wisconsin Resident Thanks Mind-Eye Team for Return to ‘My Sanctuary’ Her first pair of “brain” glasses put Ruth Christy back on the hiking trails of her Wisconsin woods.  “I was no longer...

Mind-Eye Helps Head-Injured Marine ‘Return to Person I Was’

Mind•Eye Media: Mind-Eye Helps Head-Injured Marine ‘Return to Person I Was’   He Goes to Appointment with ‘Few Expectations;’ Leaves ‘Mind-Boggled’“What Mind-Eye has done for me has transformed my life; it has [positively] changed my relationship with my wife, my...

Mind-Eye Institute Gives Her Hope of Becoming Seizure-Free

Success Stories: Mind-Eye Institute Gives Her Hope of Becoming Seizure-Free ‘Brain’ Lenses Also Lessen Monica’s Agitation Under Florescent Lights Monica is looking forward to being seizure-free for an entire year or two “so, hopefully, I can go off seizure medication...

Mind-Eye ‘Brain’ Glasses Give Army Veteran Relief, Hope

Mind•Eye Media: ‘Mind-Eye ‘Brain’ Glasses Give Army Veteran Relief, Hope   He Goes to Appointment with ‘Few Expectations;’ Leaves ‘Mind-Boggled’ Army veteran Richard Duzinskas of Chicago struggled for more than 10 years with symptoms of brain, nerve and blast injuries...

Navy Lieutenant Thankful to Mind-Eye Institute For Contribution to Book on PTSD

Mind•Eye Media: Navy Lieutenant Thankful to Mind-Eye InstituteFor Contribution to Book on PTSD Navy Veteran Courtenay Nold has declared Total War on PTSD. In fact, that’s the title of the book Courtenay plans publishing later this year as a way of helping other...

Utah Patient ‘Blown Away’ by What Eyeglasses Do for His Injured Brain

Success Stories: Utah Patient ‘Blown Away’ by What Eyeglasses Do for His Injured Brain Despite Earthquake and Virus, He Gets to Mind-Eye AppointmentGabe boasts, “The ‘brain’ glasses from the Mind-Eye Institute have seemingly resolved my headaches, renewed my joy in...

Rachael Barry Credits Mind-Eye ‘Brain’ Glasses for ‘Giving Me My Life Back’

Success Stories: Rachael Barry Credits Mind-Eye ‘Brain’ Glasses for ‘Giving Me My Life Back’ Dad’s Concern, Internet ‘Discovery’ Put Her on Path to Recovery She did not realize it, but her father had noticed her steady decline during a several-year period following a...

What We See on Zoom, Not Always What We ‘Visualize’

Mind•Eye Media: What We See on Zoom, Not Always What We ‘Visualize’  From The Desk of Dr Zelinsky Zoom never looked so good. That’s because the coronavirus pandemic has kept most of us under stay-at-home orders for weeks. So, we are fulfilling our desire for...

Clinic Business Hours:

Monday - Saturday

8:00 AM - 6:45 PM

 

Sunday - Closed

Contact Us:

Call

During Business Hours:

847.501.2020

EMail

info@mindeye.com

Northbrook Clinic Address

1414 Techny Rd,
Northbrook, IL 60062, USA

St Charles Clinic Address

2435 Dean Suite C
St Charles, IL 60175, USA

FAX

847.501.2021