In the original quote, (from 1 Corinthians 12: 21, in the New Testament of the Bible) the eye and the hand were the other way round, but never mind…
While I was researching an article I wrote for Special Magazine in March, I came across the following…
‘A policy statement issued by the Committee on Children with Disabilities, American Academy of Paediatrics, American Academy of Ophthalmology, and American Association for Paediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus stats that:
“Visual problems are rarely responsible for learning difficulties. No scientific evidence exists for the efficacy of eye exercises, vision therapy, or the use of special tinted lenses in the remediation of these complex neurological conditions.” ‘
Having got over my sense of frustration at this attitude, I had to ask myself the questions: “Just what, or whose, agenda are these people on?” and “Exactly where have they been looking for evidence?”, and even “Have they seen just how much of the brain is dedicated to visual processing?” . I’ve been meaning to post on the subject ever since.
Unless this committee’s view of learning is limited to specific cognitive processes that take place entirely outside of the visual processing centres (and of course they understand the brain in its entirety, unlike the rest of the human race to whom it is currently given, I believe, to understand less than 10%…), this seems like saying “If a car doesn’t work properly it’s never got anything to do with the transmission”.
What’s worrying is that committees such as this one make pronouncements that influence policy, and that simple, cost-effective interventions that will both change lives and save large amounts of money remain sidelined instead of becoming enshrined in mainstream thinking. Nobody would deny the need for evidence-based research to underpin policy, but even if the sheer weight of anecdotal evidence of many thousands of people for whom the “words stopped moving” as soon as they read through colour is insufficient, is the scientific rigour and the peer-reviewed research of the Dept of Vision Science at Essex University not enough?
I suppose it’s always going to be that way: Science waits in the car with the engine running, while the establishment is still asleep in bed. Edward Jenner would have had the same problems introducing his discovery of the smallpox vaccine, and the science of immunology… But if anybody has any means of contacting the above committee, would they mind sending them a copy of this link to Arnold Wilkins’s web pages, “Colour in the Treatment of Visual Stress” http://www.essex.ac.uk/psychology/overlays/ and ask them to PLEASE WAKE UP?
Bob Hext June 2013.
- Visual Stress and Visual Processing Difficulties
- Visual Stress (Why we must assess weak readers for Visual Stress)
- What is Vision Therapy? (avoltherapy.wordpress.com)
- Childrens Headaches Rarely Indicate a Need for Eye Glasses | cnbnews.net (gloucestercitynews.net)