Third Graders Who Failed Statewide Reading Exam Eligible for Free Vision Test
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Giant Scrabble at Children's Museum where initiative announced
Desare Frazier

 

Optometrist Dr.Tonyatta Hairston, says about 25 percent of school children have vision problems, but more than 80 percent do not receive the help they need.

"Children a lot of times cannot communicate that they cannot see. They just act out or they don't do their work, or they write sloppy or they may not pay attention." said Hairston.

Chandar Turner, had no idea her daughter Morgan was farsighted and had trouble seeing up close. She says during an appointment with Dr. Hairston, she just happened to ask that her daughter be examined.

"Dr. Hairston called me into her office and she said that she's going to need glasses. I said how, I mean, what do you mean, and I said she's only two years old." said Turner.

Turner says the school screenings don't detect all eye problems. When she had another girl, Maya, she took her to the doctor and found out the two-year old was seeing out of one eye.

"My youngest daughter could never tell me that oh mom, my left eye, I am not seeing anything out of my left eye. All she knew is she was seeing." said Turner.

With proper treatment and glasses, Turner says her children's are doing fine. Linda Ross Aldy, with the Mississippi Optometric Association, believes some of the 5,800 third graders who failed the statewide reading exam may be vision impaired.

"And I asked the doctors are you willing to see potentially thousands of children and without blinking they all said yes." said Aldy.

Dr.Tonyatta Hairston says despite the program's late start, children can be helped. Right now, 162 Optometrist statewide are participating now through July 15th. You can find a doctor at:msvisionfoundation.org.