Learning Related Visual Problems in Baltimore City - A Long-Term Project

This presentation PowerPoint Presentation was given at the 2002 Mid Atlantic Congress sponsored by OEPF. 

Abstract: A longitudinal, single-masked, random sample study of children at a Baltimore City Public Elementary school documents the prevalence of learning-related visual problems in the inner city of Baltimore and tests the effectiveness of vision therapy.  Vision therapy was provided to one of the randomly selected groups and data was collected on optometric tests, visual performance tests, and standardized achievement tests before and after treatment was provided.  Data presented shows that the vision therapy program has made a significant difference in the demand level of reading that could be read for understanding, in math achievement on standardized testing, and in reading scores on standardized testing, as well as on infrared eye-movement Visagraph recordings, which show significant changes on nearly all mechanical aspects of the reading process.  This paper makes a strong case that untreated learning-related vision problems are a significant public health concern and that the profession of optometry has a treatment modality that can address these problems in a significant way.  The paper presents many of the difficult questions that had to be addressed during both the early formation stage of the study and during the execution of the study.  The rationale behind the key decisions that had to be made during each step of the program is provided so that future researchers may be able to replicate this study with full knowledge of what to expect.  


Paul Harris