Some schools are experimenting with therapies to retrain students’ hearing and vision, reports USA Today.
It’s a bid to reverse problems with the ability to focus and learn brought on by years of excessive TV, poor nutrition and, for some, in vitro drug exposure.
At Gordon Parks Elementary School, a charter school in Kansas City, Mo., 60% of kindergartners in 2004 failed a visual-skills test. Most had 20/20 vision, but they struggled to focus on moving objects, track lines of print and refocus from near to far.
The school also provides training in hearing skills.
Is it a fad? The research is “inconsistent,” says skeptics.
I remember trying to play catch with my daughter when she was four. She could throw reasonably well but couldn’t catch to save her life. The next year, her kindergarten teacher suggested we get her vision checked. She turned out to be far-sighted and cross-eyed, giving her very little depth perception. It didn’t affect her academically — she was reading at 2 despite the far-sightedness — but it soured her for life on all sports involving a moving ball. (After a few years wearing glasses, her depth perception became near normal but it was too late.) At any rate, it wouldn’t surprise me if some kids need help developing visual, listening or movement skills.