Poor performance due to poor eye sight

When Luke Miller — now seven — began to struggle reading books in school, his mum, Helen, received a letter advising her to take him to an optometrist. After an eye examination it was discovered that Luke needed glasses, which made a drastic difference to his school work.

“Luke’s vision problems were picked up in a screening done in reception class,” says Helen. “As soon as we were informed I realised how far away he held his book when he was reading. He was clearly struggling but as soon as he got his glasses he was more comfortable. He can read comfortably and confidently now he has the right prescription.”

A change for the worst

In fact, Luke’s dependence on his glasses was highlighted when he was without them for a week. “Luke needed new lenses so I left the glasses at the opticians,” says Helen. “We had no spare pair at that point, resulting in him spending a week without glasses at school.

"That week was probably a write-off in terms of school work. His handwriting grew extremely messy and he struggled with his reading. I asked his teachers how he was getting on and they all noticed a difference. As soon as he got his glasses back he was fine.”

Professionals must keep an eye out

Helen stresses that it’s vitally important to take children’s eye care seriously and, for its part, the eye care industry seems keen to do all it can to help.

“Had it not been picked up at school I don’t know when it would have been noticed.”

Thankfully, Luke’s vision issues have been caught and corrected. “Had it not been picked up at school I don’t know when it would have been noticed,” says Helen.

“One comment I have on this is maybe they shouldn’t have waited until nearly the summer holidays to screen the children. Luke had a whole year of struggling with his reading and vision — so I do think that the screening should have been done much earlier on.”