Thanks again for the pleasure of your company at the pediatric CSO event Monday evening, April 29, 2013. My thanks also to the CSO organizing committee for once again doing a great job putting things together.
As Alberta OD’s, we have traditionally taken a backseat role in the care and management of children’s needs. The more research and clinical work I do in child learning and behaviour concerns, the more I am astounded by the great waste that arises from ignoring the basics, namely ensuring children have strong vision for the classroom. When children miss out on life opportunities or are referred to invasive and expensive medical Dx/Tx without having the benefit of even a basic vision exam, we all lose – as a society and as taxpayers.
To be sure, ensuring children have strong vision for learning is nothing less than a matter of human rights. For these reasons, OD’s need to promote mandatory eye exams for schoolchildren. There is no screening process that is as efficacious, or that provides the level of protection for the money, than a comprehensive optometric exam.
I have included here some revised handouts from the presentation:
Saccadic Testing for Visual Impediments to Learning – Includes additional notes for clinical practice.
Boulet CSO 2013 – Powerpoint slides as PDF.
Boulet CSO April 2013 Notes – Summary notes correlated to individual studies presented in the Powerpoint (see above). These are only select studies, and there are many more available to support these findings.
Visual Impediments and IEPs – Recent paper by Dr. Patrick Quaid from U. Waterloo. This is inline with the paper ‘Visual Impediments to Learning’, which I co-authored with Dr. Noella Piquette (PhD Psych, Reg Psych), to be published this July in Optometry and Visual Performance.
The question was asked: ‘So what if I find saccades or pursuit anomalies while testing a child?’. Refer first to the document above on saccadic testing for some tips. If you are noting visuomotor anomalies, you can either address these on your own, do so in consultation with another VT OD, or simply refer for Dx/Tx. See the list of local PROVIDERS for referrals. Dr. Luk works primarily from her clinic, whereas I implement solutions primarily for people who do not have immediate access to clinical VT services – this is done through consultation with parents, OTs, yoga therapists, and through the drboulet.com library (notes, activities, research, opinions).
My next presentation to CSO will include a general group discussion about the value of implementing mandatory vision assessment for schoolchildren, and a preview of upcoming papers on pediatric issues: Epidemiology of refractive conditions among aboriginal schoolchildren in Southern Alberta, and a case study of a child diagnosed as ‘mildly mentally retarded’ who was in fact simply struggling against high hyperopia and alternating exotropia. I look forward to seeing you all there!
Dr. Charles Boulet