When you send your children to school for the first time, are you absolutely sure they can see the chalk board or hear the teacher from the back of the class room? As Nancy Naeve Brown tells us through a partnership between Avera McKennan and the Catholic Schools, preschoolers get screened every year at this time.
Josh and Will Raether are 4 year old identical twins who go to St. Lambert Preschool. They are more than happy at this age to take tests even if it's not on paper. The first two weeks of January Avera McKennan specialists do hearing and vision tests on 4 and 5 year olds in all the Sioux Falls Catholic Schools.
Teresa Fendrich is an Audiologist at Avera McKennan. She says, "Hearing is really important at this age because it's important for speech and language development and for overall success in the classroom. Kids are often screened at birth, but a lot times haven't been checked since that time."
The hearing test consists of kids wearing headphones with the audiologist playing different tones then the kids raise their hands when they hear it.
Josh and Will's mother Nancy Fendrich says, "It's nice to catch it early if there is a problem. It's just an easy way to find out if there is a slight problem."
Fendrich says, "Most often at this age it's due to ear infections or fluid in the middle ear so that's temporary."
Nancy says, "Interesting too, you never know if they're just not listening to you because they don't want to or if there actually is a problem."
From ears to eyes the boys take turns with Orthoptist Joey Martin with Avera Medical Group Ophthalmology a specialty clinic added to Avera McKennan's campus the summer of 2011.
Joey Martin says, 'It's really important kids are screened during preschool years because so much of what they learn at this age is visual and even at home technology is trending more toward 3D TVs and handheld gaming systems putting a higher demand on children's visual system than it has in the past. "
Martin uses this special device called a photoscreener to check the boys' eyes.
Joey says, "Essentially what it does is takes a snapshot of the child's eye and based on the length and shape of the eye it gives us a reading whether the child is nearsighted or farsighted or astigmatism."
Hands down the boys did great! They can see and hear just fine. Mom Nancy is happy to hear that. She only wishes they would just listen to her at home every time she needs them to do something.