We probably all know at least one person on the autism spectrum. You probably have child, a niece or nephew, or other close friend or relative who lives with this condition. You probably know that those with autism often suffer from a variety of social and behavioral issues. However, what many people do not know is that a strong link exists between vision disorders and many of the autistic tendencies with which we’re familiar.
Frequently, hints of possible vision problems hide beneath the cover of what we too quickly dismiss as common autistic behavior. Although autism is not caused by a visual problem, individuals with autism deal with a constant sensory overload from the world around them, and frequently have great difficulty categorizing and processing visual information. This may be why they’re prone to avoid eye contact, they fixate on movement, and they tend to look at things peripherally without actually directing their attention.
Additionally, if asked to follow a subject with their eyes, you’ll see that they struggle to do so and they tend not look directly at the object. These difficulties can be further worsened by the presence of visual disorders such as convergence insufficiency and amblyopia which make it hard for autistic individuals to utilize their vision.
Amazingly, many of these habits can be reversed with proper treatment and therapy! At Mountainview Vision Therapy we absolutely love to help children and other patients overcome the previously described difficulties. The following video explains the basics of how vision therapy works.
Vision therapy helps individuals to process visual information without triggering a hyperactive response. It also helps them to come to depend upon their vision as their primary sense and it enables them to perform at an age-appropriate level in most visual tasks. As Audrey Adams, the mother of an autistic child, said “Vision therapy does not cure autism, but it can significantly improve academic performance, personal comfort, and security and participation in more typical, age-appropriate activities.” (1)
With steady help and support, we have found that autistic children and individuals can dramatically increase their ability to focus their attention. At the same time, they can develop the ability to communicate with others as they perform unrelated tasks. These increased capacities make autistic individuals much more prone to read and perform well academically, better at socializing, and all around, happier in their lives. And that is just another reason for why we’re so passionate about doing vision therapy in Spokane, vision therapy in Kennewick, and vision therapy in Yakima.
1 – https://visionhelp.com/vision-therapy-and-the-autistic-child/