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      Nebraska's See to Learn Program Helps Detect Vision Problems in 3 year olds

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      Through the SEE TO LEARN Program in Nebraska, more than 140 optometrists areworking in their communities to educate parents, educators, child careproviders and others about the warning signs of vision problems.

      They alsooffer free vision assessments for three-year-olds throughout the year. "We hope that byproviding free vision assessments to three-year-olds, we can detect problemsthat might affect their ability to do well in school and later in life," said Nebraska Foundation forChildren's Vision President Mary Lauritzen.

      Eachyear, one in five children enter kindergarten with a vision problem that couldaffect their ability to learn.

      "More than 80 percent oflearning is a result of visual processing, so if children aren't seeing well,they're going to have trouble learning," said Lauritzen.

      Inan effort to detect vision problems in children before they enter school, theEye Care Council developed the SEETO LEARNProgram. The Nebraska Foundation for Children's Vision (NFCV)administers SEETO LEARN inNebraska.

      While many parents assume that theirchildren will let them know if they are experiencing vision problems, mostyoung children aren't aware that they have vision problems.

      "One of the biggestdifficulties we run into is that children with vision problems are oftenunaware that they have vision problems, because they assume everyone else seesthe same way they do," Lauritzen said."And certain vision conditions, such as lazy eye, require early detection andtreatment to ensure that there is no permanent loss of vision. That's whyall parents, teachers and anyone else who works with children need to learn thewarning signs of vision problems."

      Formore information about scheduling your three-year-old for a free visionassessment through the SEE TOLEARN Program, call 1-800-960-EYES or visit the Council on the web at www.seetolearn.com or the NebraskaFoundation for Children's Vision web site at www.nechildrensvision.org.

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