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Early Ed Center conducts first screening; second device donated
loc slt sunflower vision
Chelsea Alexander, Sunflower early childhood special education teacher, conducts a vision screening for a child at a Pawnee County Cradles to Crayons event. This was the first screening session with the new Spot Pediavision device. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

         A device that detects vision problems found a home at Sunflower Diversified Services’ Early Education Center (EEC) and it was used during a screening for the first time recently.

          The equipment, which was donated by area Lions Clubs, is called a Spot Pediavision Screener. It can quickly and accurately detect astigmatism, nearsightedness, farsightedness and differences between the two eyes. It also determines eye misalignment, lazy eye and pupil size abnormalities.

          The Spot is designed for children as young as 6 months.

          The Damon Family Foundation learned about the Lions Club fundraising efforts and contributed to the fund. The Damons also financed a second device because of Sunflower’s large five-county service area, said Cathy Estes, Sunflower’s children’s services coordinator.

          “We cannot express how much we appreciate everyone who donated to this cause,” Estes said. “Now our accurate vision screenings take only seconds to perform. If a problem is detected, the child is referred to a doctor.”

          All screenings for vision, hearing and other developmental concerns are free at the EEC.

          A vision problem is the single most prevalent disabling condition among children, and an undiagnosed or untreated disorder clearly leaves a child behind in the classroom, according to the Lions Sight Foundation.

          “This is why screening is so important,” Estes commented. “Since a problem might not be recognized early on because an infant cannot communicate, we must screen our youngsters.”

          Sunflower’s EEC, a non-profit entity, is part of the tiny-k infant/toddler program in Kansas. All its services are free to families in Barton, Pawnee, Rice, Rush and Stafford counties.