Most children who returned to school last week will have enjoyed catching up with friends and swapping tales of the holidays.
But for the estimated two million in the UK who have dyslexia or other conditions that mean they need extra help with reading, it’s a worrying time.
School means reading, and lots of it. It’s not just that they find it hard: it can also be a pain, quite literally. There are all sorts of reasons for learning difficulties, but for some children - perhaps as many as 400,000 - the problem lies with the way their eyes work.
If the muscles around the eyes are weak, the eyes won’t work as a co-ordinated pair. This makes it difficult to focus clearly on something as small as the printed words on a page.
Quite apart from causing reading problems, this inability to focus the eyes together can lead to headaches. Children who have difficulty reading may also have super-sensitive brain cells, which means they find the actual page unbearably bright.
Now a new campaign has been launched to alert parents and teachers to the fact that sight problems can be an issue for children with dyslexia and other learning difficulties. The good news is treatment from an orthoptist, an eye specialist who deals with focusing problems, could improve their vision dramatically.
In fact, orthoptists are a secret treasure. You can find one in nearly every major hospital, they are used to dealing with children and they will treat you on the NHS. And yet too few teachers and even fewer parents are aware they exist or know what they offer.