Vision and learning are interconnected. With roughly 80 percent of what children learn at school being presented visually, vision-related learning problems could be holding your child back. Unfortunately, each year, thousands of kids go to school without an eye exam, and their farsightedness, nearsightedness, astigmatism, or other visual disorders may not be detected and treated. Because of this, they may not be able to see the board, follow the words or focus on pictures in a book, or achieve their full learning potential. Even their hand-eye coordination for physical activities could impact their social development.
Having your children’s eyes checked before starting school can mean the difference between them struggling or thriving in the classroom.
Luckily, you can take advantage of free eye exams for JK students across Ontario thanks to the Eye See…Eye Learn program.
Signs of Vision Problems in Youth
One out of four children have significant vision problems, which can interfere with development and learning. Unfortunately, your children may not realize that they have vision problems. You can’t rely on them to tell you that they should get their eyes checked. And that’s why it’s important to get eye exams. Only a doctor or optometrist can tell how well your child can see.
Though eye exams are recommended to all children, with or without signs of vision problems, you may want to pay attention to specific signs indicating that your child may have difficulty seeing, including usual eye appearance, difficulties learning, poor posture when reading, poor handwriting, squinting, reactions to lights, lost interest in visual activities, clumsiness, poor coordination, and other behavioural and learning problems.
The Eye See…Eye Learn (ESEL) Program
The Ontario Association of Optometrists’ Eye See…Eye Learn program is funded in part by the government of Ontario. It was created to spread awareness about the importance of eye examinations and help families in Ontario who cannot afford vision care to get the care and vision products they need for their children.
It encourages children who are entering school to get eye exams to prevent vision-related learning problems. Children born in 2011 who reside in Ontario and are attending any JK program, whether in private, public, or catholic school, or those attending a daycare or who are homeschooled, can participate in this program up until June 30, 2016. Junior kindergarten students born in 2012 can get their free eye exams performed between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017 with a participating optometrist.
Complimentary Glasses Included
Annual comprehensive eye exams in Ontario are covered by OHIP for children 0 to 19 years. For those who are eligible to participate in the Eye See…Eye Learn program, not only are the costs of the eye exams covered through OHIP when you show your child’s health card, but if the eye exam indicates that your child requires a pair of glasses, you will also receive a complimentary pair, which is donated by Nikon Lenswear, OGI Eyewear, and your optometrist. The frames are made with high-quality and impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses and are stylish and fashionable. This $250 value is completely free as well. You do not need to have vision coverage from a benefits plan to participate.
Good vision is a key component in the ability to learn, grow, and succeed. Give your children the best start to the school year and help them thrive. Identifying and rectifying vision concerns at an early age can help prevent learning challenges later in life. There’s no reason to wait. Through the Eye See…Eye Learn program, your junior kindergarten child in Ontario can get a free exam and a free pair of glasses. Book your free eye exam today.