Reading, Learning and Behavioral Problems May Stem From Vision Dysfunctions
Children that have vision problems are often labeled as having ADD, ADHD, Dyslexia or labeled as having a learning disability
Many intelligent adults/children have learning, attention and behavioral challenges due to visual disorders. The vision screenings offered in schools typically detect only 5% of all vision problems – those involving 20/20 distance vision. Vision evaluations with other than Developmental Optometrists often do not test for Binocular (two-eyes) vision problems – such as eye tracking, eye focusing and eye coordination dysfunctions. An adult or child that sees 20/20 still may not have both eyes working together.
A child not keeping up with class assignments will often become bored and act out in ways that teachers notice
These signs and symptoms often mirror ADD, ADHD or Dyslexia. Many children get labeled as such, or as having a learning disability when they actually have a binocular (two-eyes) vision problem. A learning-related visual problem directly affects how we learn, read or sustain close work.
Research has demonstrated that Vision Therapy can be an effective treatment option for many of the visual dysfunctions that interfere with learning and reading:
- Ocular Motility Dysfunctions (eye movement disorders)
- Accommodative Disorders (focusing problems)
- Visual Information Processing Disorders, including visual-motor integration and integration with other sensory modalities
- Visual Perception including visual memory (inability to understand and recall information), visual form perception (discriminate differences in size, shape, forms) or visualization (“seeing” in the mind’s eye).
The American Academy of Optometry and the American Optometric Association endorses Vision Therapy
If you would like to explore how Vision Therapy can help with any of the above issues, make an appointment for a Free Screening at Hope Clinic or a Full Functional Vision Evaluation.
Here are definitions of some common dysfunctions that can cause learning disabilities:
Eye Teaming and Binocular Dysfunction
This is an eye coordination problem. Controlling how we aim and use our eye keeps us from seeing double. The ability to use both eyes as a “team,” or a single functioning pair, requires our brain to fuse the two separate pictures coming in from each eye into a single image. Weakness in binocular (two-eyed) vision and eye teaming skills often involve numerous difficulties such as Convergence Insufficiency, poor depth perception, or double vision, resulting in decreased reading comprehension.
Imagine how difficult and tiring it would be if words on a page looked something like this:
Eye Tracking or Oculomotor Dysfunction
This is also an eye coordination dysfunction, which involves difficulty with both eyes working smoothly and efficiently when tracking a moving object or looking from place to place. Children who have this dysfunction often have difficulties with reading, such as loss of place, skipping lines, skipping words and lack of fluency and speed.
This is a common near binocular vision teaming dysfunction. It involves eye coordination and is the result of poor binocular skills at near point (meaning using both eyes to see a single object close up). A study by the Mayo Clinic determined that the best way to treat Convergence Insufficiency is Office Based Vision Therapy visits coupled with at least 15 minutes of specific prescribed home activities 5 days a week.
This is a focusing problem. Accommodation is how the eye changes focus during far and near viewing. Shifting focus from far to near and near to far can be difficult. A typical example is when instruction comes from far away, and then writing on a paper or computer is required.
Visual-Motor Integration Dysfunction
This is difficulty with eye-hand coordination. It is challenging to process and reproduce visual images by writing or drawing, involving fine motor movements. Copying from the board becomes difficult and handwriting can be sloppy.
Visual Perception Dysfunctions
Difficulties with visual memory (inability to understand and recall what is seen), visual form perception (discriminate differences in size, shape, or form) and visualization (“seeing” in the mind’s eye) can show up in many forms.
Contact Hope Clinic to begin the process of learning how Vision Therapy can help you or your child! Hope Clinic offers two online options: Schedule a Free Screening or Schedule a Full Functional Vision Evaluation, or call us at (425) 462-7800.