TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA)– Just like checking off pens and pencils from your child’s back to school list, there’s another essential parents should be sure to tick off: an eye exam. “The estimates are that 70 to 80 percent of new learning, from the age of 9-months to college-age, is visual input. The importance of getting your vision checked early on in the school year or before the school year is to make sure that you are prepared to gather that much information in the time frame it takes while your child is in school,” said Dr. Petito, a Tampa Bay optometrist. Before she enters the fifth grade this year, Grace Ferguson and her father, David, are doing just that. Untreated vision problems can show some of the very same signs that are commonly associated with learning disabilities, like ADHD, often leading to misdiagnosis. “It’s behavioral. They squint, try to avoid reading, or they rub their eyes more often than everyone else in the classroom,” said Dr. Petito. Grace and her father are glad they sat down for a quick check. Catching eye problems early, check ups set kids up for a year of success in the classroom. “Eyes grow at a rate that may make them be more nearsighted or more farsighted even before the kid can complain about it, we can detect those issues,” said Dr. Petito.
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