Can the Hand say to the Eye: “I have no need of thee?”

Edward Jenner

Edward Jenner (Photo credit: Wikipedia) would have had the same problems…

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.

4 thoughts on “Can the Hand say to the Eye: “I have no need of thee?”

  1. I can see your frustration. Over 30 years of teachers, parents, doctors opticians telling me ‘You can’t possibly be seeing that’ it doesn’t surprise me. There seems to be a very large population of people who if it doesn’t happen to them, refuse to believe its the case!

    It was only a chance conversation with a colleague that I heard of Irlen’s and then couldn’t spell it to find out more. Another 5 years till DH asked an optician if he’d heard of it and he told us how to spell it. The we found British Dyslexia website and then your own fantastic site.

    One mixed set of overlays later and over 30 years of struggle suddenly reduced. Your overlays changed my life. Bah humbug at those who don’t believe, that’s their foolish choice, look how long it took people to believe the world is round not flat! As long as you keep making these overlays and promoting how much they help people at least there is a chance that people like me can stumble across your site and find the help they so desperately need.

    Keep doing what you do, you make the impossible possible 🙂

    Billie

    • Hello Billie

      How right you are, people couldn’t accept the fact the world was round for ages. There is such stubborness in the world and feelings of discomfort at changing our views on things and anything new that challenges what we have always believed. I hope that everybody will realise the benefits of reducing visual stress as soon as possible!

  2. I can support anecdotal evidence you mention, my 10yr old dyslexic daughter’s life was transformed by her red tinted lenses last year. Words stopped moving, better concentration, calm not the frustrated anxiety experienced before! I read the publicity around the American policy statement with sadness!

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