Wed04162014

News

City chips in $7,000 for SFMOMA installation

City chips in $7,000 for SFMOMA installation


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos City Council earmarked $7,000 for the purchase of Chris Johanson’s artwork.

The city of Los Altos will contribute $7,000 toward the purchase of a $28,000 art installation featured in the San Francisco Museum...

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Schools

LASD students celebrate service learning

LASD students celebrate service learning


Courtesy of Sandra McGonagle
We Day, held March 26 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, exhorts students in the Los Altos School District to effect positive change.

More than 150 Los Altos School District student leaders joined 16,000 Bay Area students to ce...

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Community

Film career launches with Cannes screening

Film career launches with Cannes screening


Courtesy of Zachary Ready
Los Altos native Zachary Ready, front left, and co-director Andrew Cathey, right, celebrate their Campus MovieFest awards.

After learning the art of filmmaking as a child in the front yard of his family’s Los Altos hom...

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Sports

Reeling Panthers look to get rolling again

Reeling Panthers look to get rolling again


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Pinewood School senior Kevin Tracy pitches in a game against Westmoor, the first of two losses by the Panthers last week.

Pinewood School baseball coach Chad Morin knows exactly what his team must do in the second half of...

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Comment

Now is the time to expand parking: Editorial

Just a few short years ago, vacancies dotted downtown Los Altos. Property owners had a hard time attracting businesses because there was a shortage of customers. That is no longer true. Now, the cry is: Where are my customers going to park?

The city...

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Business

Local realtor honored for volunteer efforts

Local realtor honored for volunteer efforts


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Coldwell Banker recently recognized realtor Kim Copher, right, for her philanthropic efforts. Copher and colleague Alan Russell, left, volunteer at Reach Potential Movement, where they collect books for its Bookshelf in ...

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Books

Local Author Spotlight

In an effort to support authors from Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View, many self-published, Book Buzz periodically spotlights their books and offers information on where to purchase them. Local authors are encouraged to submit brief summa...

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People

Noteworthy

RotaCare honors local volunteer

RotaCare Bay Area honored Jim Cochran of the RotaCare Mountain View Free Medical Clinic with the Outstanding Clinic Volunteer Award April 10 for his commitment to RotaCare’s mission of providing free medical care to t...

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Travel

Sausalito: Explore the historical city with world-class views

Sausalito: Explore the historical city with world-class views


Eren Göknar/ Special to the Town Crier
Sausalito offers panoramic views of the San Francisco Bay. A number of companies schedule boat tours that sail past Angel Island and Alcatraz.

On a clear day, Sausalito offers spectacular views of the San Franc...

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Stepping Out

Western Ballet performs this weekend  at Smithwick Theatre in Los Altos Hills

Western Ballet performs this weekend at Smithwick Theatre in Los Altos Hills


Courtesy of Alexi Zubiria
Western Ballet’s “La Fille Mal Gardée” features Alison Share and Maykel Solas. The production runs Friday and Saturday at Foothill College

Western Ballet is slated to perform “La Fille Mal GardéeR...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

A yoga class a day keeps the stress away

A yoga class a day keeps the stress away


Van Houtte/Town Crier Yoga of Los Altos hosts a variety of classes, including Strong Flow Vinyasa, above, taught by Doron Hanoch. Yin Yoga instructor Janya Wongsopa guides a student in the practice, below.

It’s nearly 9 a.m. on a Monday mornin...

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The window to better learning: Keeping your children's eyes healthy


Photo By: Town Crier File Photo
Photo Town Crier File Photo Fatigue after reading for a short time is one of several common signs that a child may have a vision problem.

August is National Children’s Vision & Learning Month. As teachers busily prepare their classrooms and parents gather school supplies and backpacks to equip their children for the new academic year, I often wonder as an optometrist and a mom how many schoolchildren have been checked to determine if one of their most important assets for higher learning is intact. I am referring to a child’s vision.

Our vision is the primary way we gather information about the world around us. In fact, 80 percent of learning occurs through the visual system. Without good vision, many aspects of our lives are affected. But what is not commonly known is how poor vision can play a large part in poor academic and sports performances, in addition to causing primary learning disabilities.

Many parents expect children to complain when they have poor vision, just as they would with a toothache. But the truth is that children cannot possibly know what good vision is if all they have known their entire lives is blurry vision. That is normal to them.

Vision, however, can be as personal as someone’s color preference. A person’s brain will make abnormal adaptations to poor vision to accommodate and achieve better ability to see. For the most part, these adaptations to poor-quality vision are not even known by the child or his or her parents.

Parents often expect school screenings and pediatric examinations to affirm that their child’s vision is OK. But these screenings in general can only catch very gross vision issues, such as high myopia (nearsightedness) or amblyopia (lazy eye).

These screenings cannot detect learning difficulties that are attributed to poor vision. Problems in eye coordination, eye focusing, eye tracking, visual perception and integration (how visual information is processed) play an important role in academic performance. However, they are not assessed in a typical school or pediatric vision screening. Viewing the eye chart and reading a few letters or shapes correctly does not equate to a good visual system.

Good vision is learned, and learning good vision can directly affect one’s ability to assess his or her environment. Famous athletes often receive vision training to improve their performance in their respective sport.

How would you know if your child has a vision problem? Check for the following problems that may extend from an underperforming visual system within a child.

• Complaints of blurry vision

• Frequent squinting

• Frequent eye rubbing

• Closing an eye when reading

• Reading for a short time before getting tired

• Poor reading comprehension

• Headaches when reading

• Losing place or skipping words when reading

• Short attention span

• Difficulty recognizing letters or numbers

• Letter or number reversal

• Red eyes after reading for a short time

• Poor copying skills

• Unable to see 3D images

Aside from the symptoms above, when a child is diagnosed with a learning disability, whether it is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, dyslexia or even autism, it is paramount that a vision assessment is among the first evaluations performed.

A recent study conducted by researchers at the Children’s Eye Center at the University of San Diego discovered a close relationship between convergence insufficiency (inability of eyes to turn toward each other) and ADHD.

Children should undergo a full eye exam no later than kindergarten. An optometrist should closely review every aspect of the visual system, including focusing, tracking and binocularity skills (how well two eyes work together as a team) to prepare a child for school. Children should have eye exams at least once a year from that time on.

In the meantime, keep your child’s eyes healthy by reducing video screen time and increasing family time outdoors. The eyes are part of the body and a window to your child’s learning. Maintaining a balanced lifestyle will encourage good vision and healthy learning.

Dr. Susan Lodenquai is an optometrist at Altos Family Optometry, 668-B Fremont Ave., Los Altos. For more information, call 948-5061 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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