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Beyond 20/20 Works To Help Kids See Clearer, Giving In-Depth Eye Exams

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — There's a new program working to help kids see clearer.

It all started when Catherine Carter said she missed the signs. Her son Atticus passed the eye tests, but something still wasn't quite right.

"We were medicating him for ADHD and had no idea, he always passed the screen charts, he saw 20/20 but his eyes just couldn't read." Carter said.

She said they found out when he was 10 that he had double vision. Now, she wants to make sure no other parent misses the signs.

So she started Beyond 20/20, a program that delivers comprehensive eye exams to students who either failed the state-mandated screening or were referred by a teacher or specialist.

"It's extremely rewarding because a lot of these parents and children don't realize that their visual skills aren't functioning as well as they should be." said Jennifer Kungle, a developmental optometrist.

With the help of partnerships and a $5,000 grant, Carter and her team set up stations inside the Howard High School gym- where nearly 200 students got an in-depth eye screening for free and a new pair of glasses.

"Sometimes I don't really see the board really much and I think they help me like to read and writing on the board." said seventh-grader Fabia Rojas.

Doctors said in Maryland, 70 percent of students who failed a vision screening did not follow up for a formal evaluation or diagnosis.

Carter said she hopes programs like this will change that.

"To know that there are parents yesterday and today who came to me and felt that same guilt they missed their own children that they're being found just like Atticus and they are being helped they are getting those pair of glasses and the treatment they need." Carter said.

The plan for this program is to expand to multiple jurisdictions over the course of the next few years.

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