Super bowl star Larry Fitzgerald stops to give parents advice on Vision Therapy

Larry Fitzgerald with his grandfather, Dr. Robert Johnson, and aunt, Dr. Stephanie Johnson-Brown.

AURORA, OH--(Marketwire - July 24, 2009) - Arizona Cardinals 2008 NFC West Champions' wide-receiver, Larry Fitzgerald, is helping eye doctors spread the word to parents that vision problems can interfere with a child's ability to pay attention, read and learn. "Even if you have been told your child has perfect vision or 20/20 vision, your child could still be at-risk of having a learning-related vision problem," warns Fitzgerald.

Do you have a child who takes forever to do homework? Or hates to read? Learning-related vision problems directly affect how we learn, read, or do close work.

The College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) launched their annual campaign, August is National Children's Vision & Learning month, to educate the public on the steps they can take to ensure their children aren't struggling with reading and learning because of undiagnosed vision problems.

"Parents don't realize that you need over 17 visual skills to succeed in reading, learning, sports, and in life. Seeing '20/20' is just one of those visual skills," says Fitzgerald.

During the many pre- and post-Super Bowl press interviews, Fitzgerald explained that one of the keys to his success was having vision therapy as a child. He had a vision problem that was making it difficult to pay attention in school and his grandfather, Dr. Robert Johnson, a developmental optometrist in Chicago, Illinois, diagnosed the vision problem and the appropriate treatment.

Fitzgerald went through vision therapy under his aunt's guidance, Dr. Stephanie Johnson-Brown, who is currently the executive director of the Plano Child Development Center, a not-for-profit vision care service corporation which was co-founded by her father, Dr. Johnson, in 1959, which specializes in vision education and the identification and remediation of vision development problems in children and adults.

According to a report from the New Jersey Commission on Business Efficiency of the Public School, "Undiagnosed and untreated vision related learning problems are significant contributors to early reading difficulties and ultimately to special education classification."

Fitzgerald is joining COVD this year to help spread the word that 20/20 is NOT perfect vision and that if your children are struggling with reading you need to take them to see a developmental optometrist. You can visit COVD's website to find a developmental optometrist near you.

"Vision problems can have a serious impact on a child's education. Don't wait to see if this next school year will be better, take action today!" Fitzgerald encourages parents.


Source: Marketwire, July, 2009. Reprinted with permission from the website of the College of Optometrists in VIsion Development, www.covd.org