Last Christmas, Michael’s sons were offered eye and dyslexia tests at Cheam School in Newbury for a donation of just £25. All children in year one and two were tested and of the sixty in the boys’ class, 16 were found to have serious and previously undetected eye problems - one of which was Michael’s son, Hugo, who was revealed to be almost blind in one eye. The tests also showed that Hugo’s twin brother, Archie, was dyslexic.
As a result of Hugo’s early diagnosis, a combination of specially adapted glasses and patching his good eye have dramatically improved his sight in just six weeks - yet if the condition had remained undiscovered before the age of seven, it would have been untreatable.
According to the charity, one in ten children suffer from dyslexia and it is the most common cause of childhood loss of self-esteem, leading to profound misery and even suicide, vandalism, violence or criminality. Again, if recognised at an early age, the condition can be treated very successfully.
Michael says: “As a family, we owe a great deal to both our school and the Trust, and as the charity survives on such minimal funding, we hope that HugoFox.com’
Dr Sue Fowler, Co-founder of the DRT added: “We are overwhelmed by the support we have received from Hugo Fox and pleased that people are seeing the value in what we do.
“Our main concern is helping children with learning difficulties, so by testing their eyesight we can find any problems which may inhibit their learning and development. Twenty years ago all children were checked before they went to school but now this has stopped, a lot get missed. By going in to schools like Cheam and checking that all children can see properly, we can help those that have unexpected difficulties in learning to read and write.”
The Reading-based charity, whose patrons include Rick Stein, Lord Walton of Detchant and Baroness Susan Greenfield was founded in 1995 by Professor John Stein, a professor of Neuroscience at Oxford University, and Dr Sue Fowler, a Senior Research Orthoptist.
Following decades of research into the causes of reading problems, their collaboration has led to the development of highly effective treatments for visual reading problems, ranging from monocular occlusion to the use of yellow and blue glasses and fish oil omega 3s.
Based in Kingsclere, HugoFox.com was formed last year with the aim of providing local people with a means of buying, selling, advertising or recruiting online. Just one year along and the company has seen a huge interest from people across the South, and Chairman Michael Thompson is thrilled that the company’s success has enabled him to donate towards such a worthy cause.
For more information, visit http://www.dyslexic.org.uk or http://www.hugofox.com
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Hugofox.com is a local listings site which offers free advertising to local businesses, as well as classifieds, cars, jobs and information on charitable organisations in your area.