AAP Changes Screen Time Recommendations

computer image of aap screen time updated recommendations

The American Academy of Pediatrics has lifted its recommended ban on screen time for children under 2 years of age. More importantly, they have researched the effects and recommended guidelines for educational and beneficial screen time. “The new guidelines, especially for very young children, shift the focus from WHAT is on the screen to WHO else is in the room” (Kamenetz, 2016).

The AAP recommends live video-chat, co-viewing, and interactive media use among children and a supervising adult.

Children “can learn new words from educational media, if and only if parents are watching alongside them, repeating what the video says and/ or drawing attention to what is on the screen…Co-view with your children, help children understand what they are seeing, and help them apply what they learn to the world around them.”(Kamenetz, 2016)

In effect, screens should not be used as a babysitter but rather as facilitation of information and interaction between the guardian and child.

Lexercise’s co-founder, Sandie Barrie Blackley, recently visited her son and granddaughters where she was able to witness this type of “co-viewing,” educational screen-time.

child and grandfather reading a poem on a computer screen

When Granddaddy was reading the poem, The Owl & The Pussycat on Sunday morning D. was puzzled by these lines:

“They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon….”

She had never heard of mince, slices of quince, or a runcible spoon. So she and Granddaddy looked up images of these using Google Images. After checking out pictures of runcible spoons D. commented that at her school’s cafeteria they use plastic runcible spoons, but they call them sporks.

father and child discussing word meaning after looking them up on the computer

When D. and her sister were playing an online math logic game on Saturday morning Dad was there to coach.

This computer is in the home’s main living area so parents can easily be “side-by-side” with the children as they are using it. Parents also use an app that blocks all but approved sites.

Lexercise has always recognized the well-documented value of shared inquiry and joint engagement with a caring, mentoring adult. The Lexercise intervention platform is built to give parents all the tools they need to be a mentor and a change-agent for their struggling reader and/or writer. Learn how Lexercise combines interactive media and live chat to guarantee your child’s reading success here.


Kamenetz, Anya. “Morning Edition.” NPRed. NPR. 21 Oct. 2016. Radio.

What Your Pediatrician Says About Vision Therapy

Untitled designPediatricians Caution Parents Not to Waste Money on Vision Therapy

Beginning about 5 years ago pediatricians started cautioning parents of kids with reading disorders to avoid ineffective and costly treatments such as vision therapy and to look instead for  “proven education and language-based interventions”.


This year Pediatrics journal published another study that supports this advice. In research based on thousands of children aged 7 to 9, no evidence was found for an association between specific learning disorders with impairment in reading (dyslexia) and vision abnormalities.  The researchers concluded that there is no evidence that vision-based treatments would be helpful for children with severe reading impairments.

Pediatric ophthalmologists explain: “Children with dyslexia often lose their place while reading because they struggle to decode a letter or word combination and/or because of lack of comprehension, not because of a “tracking abnormality.’ ” (Vision Therapy, American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus website)

Especially when you are worried about your child it is not hard to be fooled by “pseudo-scientific” jargon! IDA_Logo_Brand_Guide1
The International Dyslexia Association (IDA)  has
a fact sheet designed to help parents “critically evaluate programs, avoid scams, and move forward toward providing instruction that will truly help…”.  Lexercise is a corporate member of IDA and Lexercise therapy meets and exceeds IDA standards.  

If you are worried about your child’s reading, spelling and/or writing the free, online Lexercise Dyslexia Screener is a good place to start. If your child struggles to read the single, large-font words on this screener you can be pretty sure it is not due to their vision!