Dr. Jason Maasdam with Eye Health Solutions, Knoxville sees the big picture when he talks about the relationship between eye health and learning. His extensive education, continuing research and experience yields practical and useful advice. Here are some points I took away from our meeting.
1. Kids need their eyes checked before kindergarten. One or two children in every classroom has an issue with vision.
2. Approximately 80% of all learning has a visual component. If a child’s vision isn’t as good as it can be, they are at a disadvantage in the classroom.
3. Studies show that students learn best if they sit in the first two rows in class, or down the center line. The reason for this is uncertain.
4. Children need to get their vision checked every one or two years.
5. Watch for any changes in your students grades that are not positive. They may have a vision issue.
6. Don’t worry if children don’t need the same light you do to read. Their eyes adapt to low light quite easily.
7. In general, staring at the television, the computer, or small hand held electronic devices isn’t a problem for their vision. However, if these devices are keeping them from playing outside, it is bad for their general health.