Tahlequah Daily Press

Features

August 16, 2013

The eyes have it

TAHLEQUAH — tsnell@tahlequahdailypress.com

Most schools in this area are back in session, and students are establishing routines, completing homework and learning new skills.

Local optometrists agree one of the key components to educational success is a child’s ability to see properly. August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month, and area experts urge parents to have regular screenings and eye exams.

“Vision screenings and eye exams are of primary importance,” said Dr. Tom Baker, of Family Eye Care. “No age is too young to have a screening, and parents should have their children examined before they begin school. We cannot do the same types of things with a 2-year-old that we can with a 20-year-old, but valuable information can be gained by screening young children.”

According to the Envision Foundation, proper vision screenings are essential for early detection and intervention of vision problems in children.

More than 80 percent of learning is visual, and Baker said a child often has no frame of reference when it comes to visual impairment.

“It’s different when you deal with children,” said Baker. “Children can’t come home and say to their parents, ‘I have an astigmatism,’ because to them, the way they see is normal.”

Dr. Alissa Proctor, associate professor and chief of the Infant Vision Clinic at Northeastern State University’s College of Optometry, said if kids’ vision issues are not properly diagnosed, it can have a huge impact on their ability to learn.

“We’ve seen many, many cases where children are documented as being diagnosed as having autism or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, when all they really need is glasses,” said Proctor.

Baker agrees.

“My experience is many children who are labeled as having attention disorder problems also have visual problems,” said Baker. “Now, wearing glasses doesn’t necessarily fix a behavioral issue. For instance, a child who is hyperopic - or far-sighted - cannot maintain concentration when told to sit in a chair and read a two-page paper. As soon as the eyes go out of focus, he’s up doing something else.”

Eye exams should be scheduled for babies

Proctor recommends having a child’s eyes examined for the first time when she reaches 6 to 9 months of age.

“There’s also a national program, InfantSEE.org, in which parents can type in their ZIP code, and find a list of doctors that will provide a comprehensive eye exam at no charge.”

Proctor said school-age children who have no documented vision problems should have eye exams every year or two.

“This schedule should be maintained until, well, they reach the age when they need readers. You know, when you have to hold a paper farther away for it to come into focus,” said Proctor, with a laugh.

NSU’s vision clinic takes children from ages birth through 7. They accept SoonerCare and most insurance, and appointments are available on Monday and Tuesday mornings.

“We also have a pediatric vision clinic, in which we see mostly at [Cherokee Nation] Hastings [Hospital],” said Proctor. “Also we do school vision screenings every Friday morning. We screen about 80 kids per morning, and visit all the local elementary and rural schools. It’s important to get them the help they need to be successful in school.”

Baker said, given the vast expanse of electronic devices today, proper vision care is key not only to educational success, but in the workforce.

“Computers, and all the smaller electronic devices, are not going away,” said Baker.

“Every single job requires you to work with one or several of these. If you cannot see  properly, you cannot function. If you cannot function, you cannot perform at your job, and if you can’t do that, you can’t keep your job.”

1
Text Only
Features
  • wherearethey.jpg Padilla enjoys reconnecting with childhood

    As a child spending time at her grandparents’ house, with all her aunts, uncles, and cousins around her, Kerrie (Bosley) Padilla spent endless hours outside playing chase, catching fireflies, or writing and acting out plays.
    In 1987, after her dad got out of the Navy, the family moved here from Georgia to be closer to that family: matriarch Dorothy Monzingo, and maternal grandparents Dorothy and Dwight Allen. Her parents, DeAnna and Steve Edwards – as well as a couple of siblings and some aunts, uncles and cousins – still live here.
    Eventually, Padilla graduated from Northeastern State University, and then its College of Optometry.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Dream1.jpg Dream Theatre spotlights songwriters

    Dreams can come true for local aspiring songwriters who seek to gain performance experience.
    For one young musician, Thursday night was an unexpected dream of discovery, as well.
    Two opportunities are available to musicians at the Dream Theatre each month, the new Songwriters’ Showcase which opened Thursday night and Premier Night for musicians who have a few songs or a set, but not a whole show.
    In search of the groove that works for The Dream, Manager Larry Clark is partnering with Blake Turner, Lakes Country operation manager.
    The Songwriters’ Showcase, which will continue the third Thursday of the month in conjunction with Tahlequah Main Street Association’s Third Thursday Art Walk downtown, features seasoned performers who can share some of their personal insights into the how, when and why of their songwriting experiences.

    April 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Dream, Brewdog’s to host music festivals

    One sign of spring’s arrival is the scheduling of music festivals, and 10 bands will visit a Tahlequah venue May 24, the Saturday before Memorial Day.

    April 17, 2014

  • rf-Zoe-thing.jpg Conference attendees get words of encouragement

    Words of encouragement and door prizes were bountiful Saturday morning at the annual Zoë Institute’s Women’s Conference.
    Ten women shared words of wisdom in areas from happiness to health, and 100 gifts were given out, including the grand prize of gasoline for a year.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • sp-symposium-art-panel.jpg Panelists discuss impact of Southeastern art

    Until recently, most people had a certain expectation of American Indian art – and it didn’t include images familiar to people in and around Cherokee County.
    “A lot of times, when people think about Native art, they immediately think of Plains art or Southwestern art,” said Roy Boney (Cherokee), Tahlequah artist and moderator of the panel discussion “Southeastern Indian Art: Building Community and Raising Awareness,” held Friday, April 11, at the NSU Symposium on the American Indian.
    Boney and the other panelists are frustrated by the divide between mainstream expectations of Native American art and their need for genuine self-expression.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Teacher.jpg Dickerson believes in putting the student first

    As a child growing up in Elk City, Cherokee Elementary teacher Debra Dickerson lined up the neighborhood children and animals to play school.
    “I’ve been a teacher ever since I could talk. My mother always said she knew where I was because she could hear me bossing everyone,” she said.
    The classroom then was a blanket tossed over limbs of her big cherry tree on Eisenhower Street. Recess was spent tree-climbing, running, riding in the bus (her red wagon) and being creative.
    “Those were the days before video games and TV,” she said.
    Dickerson, 2013-’14 Cherokee Elementary Teacher of the Year, believes a classroom should be a safe haven for children, because school is often the best part of their day.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • kh-trash-pickup.jpg Cleaning things up

    Lowrey was part of the Cherokee Nation’s Career Service Center contingency of 11 volunteers. Other volunteers cleaned up trash along the roadway from the Cherokee Casino to the NSU campus.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-NinthAmendment.jpg Right to privacy leans partly on Article 9

    While the other articles of the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights are straightforward – at least, enough for Americans to bicker over in court – the Ninth Amendment might cause a bit of confusion.
    It reads: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
    There are no rights enumerated, and it might be difficult to argue one’s Ninth Amendment rights in court, though it has been done successfully.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • stickball-2.jpg Stickball

    The American Indian Science and Engineering Society and Native American Student Associationat Northeastern State University hosted a traditional stickball game as part of closing cultural activities during the 42nd annual Symposium on the American Indian Friday. Participants included, from left: Nathan Wolf, Disosdi Elk and Chris Smith.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • green-bldng.jpg City council to discuss ‘green building’

    Tahlequah City Council will hold a special meeting Friday, April 11, at 5:30 p.m. to discuss, among other items, applying grant money to renovate the city’s “green building” at the corner of Water and Morgan, near Norris Park.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

How confident are you that the immunizations for infants and children are reasonably safe?

Not at all confident.
Somewhat confident.
Relatively confident.
Extremely confident.
undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Stocks