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11-year-old overcomes eye obstacle to improve her reading

Published: Dec. 10, 2020 at 2:48 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Reading hasn’t come easy for 11-year-old Brielle Burbridge. Her parents first noticed her struggles with school when she was just getting started in kindergarten.

“She was at the lower third of the class and I was just like how does this happen when you think you’ve done everything right,” says Karrie Burbridge, Brielle’s mom.

Year after year it was always the same story at school conferences.

“I was always below the benchmark for my reading,” Brielle says.

But a February eye exam lead to a revelation that there was more to the story.

“I didn’t even think there was something wrong with my eyes I just thought I just wasn’t that good at reading,” Brielle told us.

It turns out her eyes actually weren’t tracking correctly.

“So when she’d try to see a word it was slowing her down as her eyes were trying to focus together,” Karrie told us.

The finding led Brielle to vision therapy at Cedar Rapids Eye Care. She’s been working throughout quarantine and virtual learning to improve her reading. The hard work paid off as she started the fifth grade hitting her benchmarks for the very first time.

“When we got off the call we looked at each other and sort of felt like a weight had been lifted,” says Nick Burbridge, Brielle’s dad.

“When I heard that, like it was insane for me because I’m always below the benchmarks so when I heard I was above it was really exciting to me,” Brielle told us.

Congratulations Brielle on being the KCRG Student of the Month!

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