I learned this afternoon of the passing of a dear colleague, John R. Griffin, aka “The Griff”. You can learn more about this gentle giant of our profession through this press release from the Southern California College of Optometry. SCCO was John’s academic home for what seemed like forever. Many of you will know John through his magnum opus which was Binocular Anomalies: Procedures for Vision Therapy. I distinctly recall using the first edition in 1976 as my bible of sorts for Binocular Vision. It was organized and illustrated in a way that had never been done as well before in a textbook for the profession. The third and fourth editions were co-authored with Dave Grisham. It is now in its 5th edition, re-titled and co-authored by Eric Borsting and John.
John had a wide variety of interests beyond binocular vision. He co-authored a text on Genetics for Primary Eyecare Practitioners and co-authored the Dictionary of Visual Science. But his passion was for education and in particular the challenges of dyslexia. He co-authored the Dyslexia Determination Test and The Dyslexia Screener, producing children and adult versions. Of equal importance he introduced a number of therapy materials and workbooks to help improve reading performance.
As a new Diplomate in Binocular Vision & Perception of the American Academy of Optometry, I roomed at the meeting one year with Ed Goodlaw and John Griffin. The experience had a profound effect on me at the time. John, in a very quiet and unassuming way, had a profound effect on many young practitioners. In particular, Mike Wesson, Mike Rouse, Julie Ryan, Garth Christensen, Graham Erickson, and Eric Borsting each obtained Master’s Degrees in Education after receiving their O.D. degrees as a direct result of John’s influence.
Dr. John R. Griffin is already deeply missed.