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Disruptive Students May Not Be Able to See Their Problem
Date:12/21/2011

LAKE MARY, Fla., Dec. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- At schools across the country, teachers are directed to send students to the nurse's office whenever they think a child may have a vision issue.  This could be due to the teacher's recognition of a student squinting in class to see the blackboard, poor performance in class or disruptive behavior. The squinting is easy to identify, a troubled child is more difficult and that student could end up in the principal's office instead of the nurse's office.

Kelly Haynes is an expert vision screener for Florida's VisionQuest, a non-profit charitable organization that conducts vision screenings, eye exams and glasses for public school students throughout the state.  She has witnessed this confusion more than a few times, but is always happy to provide helpful insight.

"I screened a sixteen year old little boy once who could only see a few inches in front of his face," said Haynes, who is able to quickly and accurately identify children with vision issues using the Spot vision screener. "The principal said the boy was always in trouble, getting into fights, always up in her face with an angry look. I explained to her that it is just because he can't see. He is squinting and getting as close to her as possible so he can see her face. It's not because he's angry, not because he's upset. It's just because he can't see."

Haynes says those experiences are the most rewarding aspect of her job, finding children who don't know they can't see and then helping them. "Often when I talk to a principal about a child like this, I am told that those children are usually a disruptive element in class," said Haynes, whose team has screened as many as 1,500 children in a day. "Then I give the principal the results of the vision screening which clearly show that the child cannot see two feet in front of himself. This really helps principals to see the real problem, a vision problem."

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