Ever write a check only to have it returned NSF, Non-Sufficient Funds?
Banks issue NSF charges when account balances don’t cover the amount written on the check.
Today I’m issuing the vision policy by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) my spin on NSF: Non-Sufficient Facts.
August 2009, the AAP updated their 1998 policy on learning disabilities, dyslexia, and vision. The newly released policy statement made by top medical groups refutes vision therapy and the link between vision and learning for the fourth time in four decades. In other words, “Non-Sufficient Facts” abound here!
Here’s my list of the biggest “overdrawn” statements found in that AAP policy balanced by deposits:
1.) “Overdrawn” Statement: Children who exhibit signs of learning disabilities should be referred as early in the process as possible for educational, psychological, neuropsychological, and/or medical diagnostic assessments. (from Recommendations)
DEPOSIT: I’m surprised that in 2009, a possible vision problem isn’t ruled out first. It’s estimated that 80% of all learning comes through the eyes. Why aren’t complete eye and vision evaluations by vision experts such as those accredited with COVD included in this list with psychologists and neuropsychologists?
2.) “Overdrawn” Statement: Pediatricians and family physicians should perform periodic eye and vision screening for all children and refer those who do not pass screenings to ophthalmologists who are experienced in the care of children. (from Recommendations)
DEPOSIT: I’m surprised that in 2009, the AAP STILL recommends vision screenings in the medical home. The AAP 2008 Oral Health Policy recommends all children have a dental home by age 1, and that joint efforts be made with local dentists to support that dental home. The AAP is dedicated to the overall health of all children. Why doesn’t the AAP want to establish a VISION home for all children by age 1, and work together with the largest group of eye doctors—the optometrists?
3.) “Overdrawn” Statement: Other conditions may affect reading. Convergence insufficiency (CI) and poor accommodation, both of which are uncommon in children, can interfere with the physical act of reading but not with decoding. (from The Role of the Visual System and the Eyes)
DEPOSIT: Guess what. This policy also states: “The recommended vision screenings are unlikely to disclose near-vision problems such as convergence insufficiency, accommodative insufficiency, and significant hyperopia.” And the AAP recommends all children be screened in the medical home? The AAP policy references the latest study on CI from a medical journal but omits the publication from the Mayo Clinic. CI is uncommon in children? According to Mayo’s lead ophthalmologist and lead investigator in that study Dr. Brian Mahoney, convergence insufficiency IS common in children. Parents… KNOW that a vision screening is not a substitute for an eye examination. Read more about “Amy’s Law” here…
4.) “Overdrawn” Statement: Diagnostic and treatment approaches that lack scientific evidence of efficacy, including eye exercises, behavioral vision therapy, or special tinted filters or lenses, are not endorsed and should not be recommended. (from Abstract)
DEPOSIT: Oh my! Not endorsed and should not be recommended? It is unfair to the public to imply there is NO scientific evidence in support of vision therapy. Vision therapy does NOT claim to treat learning disabilities and dyslexia. Vision therapy treats vision problems. Parents… there is evidence that vision therapy can improve a child’s vision. Check out these great success stories here…
5.) “Overdrawn” Statement: Ophthalmologists should identify and treat any significant ocular or visual disorder found to be present. (from Recommendations)
Deposit: Once more, why can’t the AAP work together with optometrists, too? I know pediatricians and ophthalmologists are medical doctors, and they refer to their own medical doctors but it’s the 21st century. Did you know the AAP enthusiastically promotes, supports, and protects breastfeeding? According to the 2005 policy, “the AAP firmly adheres to the position that breastfeeding ensures the best possible health as well as the best developmental and psychosocial outcomes for the infant.” Thanks to the AAP, I breastfed all five of my babies. The AAP did NOT do the breastfeeding. I did. Since the AAP partners with parents, and many parents value optometry and vision therapy, why can’t the AAP support optometric eye and vision care?
Fixing My Gaze by Susan R. Barry recounts fifty years of struggles with a vision problem until she discovered a behavioral optometrist. Thanks to a caring and competent eye doctor, vision therapy opened her eyes to a whole new world.
The 2009 AAP vision policy is filled with inconsistencies and misleading messages about children’s vision.
It is my hope and goal that pediatricians and ophthalmologists will embrace optometry and put the visual needs of children first.
Join the Kids Eyes Count Campaign!
- KNOW vision screening is not a substitute for an eye examination.
- MAKE comprehensive eye and vision examinations by an eye doctor part of a child’s health care.
- KEEP eye care health and good vision habits a priority.
Be on the Kids Eyes Count email list! Sign-up here… it’s free and easy!
College of Optometrists in Vision Development COVD’s website.
Wright’s Law Here you’ll find thousands of articles, cases, and resources for accurate, reliable information about special education law, education law, and advocacy for children with disabilities.
Protecting students with disabilities Frequently asked questions about Section 504 and the education of children with disabilities.
Learning disabilities, dyslexia, and vision: a subject review About the 1998 AAP policy.
The Toolbox Analogy The nuts and bolts of what optometry knows, education needs.
More about the 2009 AAP vision policy:
News from the American Optometric Association
Here’s what they have to say…
Susan recounts her struggles with learning as a child. Discover how she takes the medical establishment to task for not giving her parents the option of considering the benefits of optometric care.
A must read for anyone looking for hope and inspiration!
Order from Amazon here…
Copyright (c) 2009 Janet Hughes. All rights reserved.