Children are experiencing increased challenges at school, and many are being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
The Optometrists Network suggests that as many as 70% of children with learning difficulties, including ADD and ADHD, may also have a visual component to learning challenges. Children with vision problems may experience headaches, eyestrain, blurred vision, and may seem to have trouble concentrating on close work like reading and worksheets. These issues are not an indicator of a child’s intelligence, but rather an indication of how debilitating a vision problem can be at school.
Don’t Ignore These Symptoms
If you suspect that your child has a learning disorder, or has been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, pay special attention to symptoms that may indicate that a visual problem is contributing to your child’s learning difficulties. Ask yourself if your child exhibits one or more of the following symptoms:
- Squinting or blinking excessively, especially when reading
- Tilting or turning the head
- Rubbing eyes after reading or doing close work for a short period of time
- Reading using a finger to follow the words
- Holding objects very close to eyes to see
- Drifting of one eye, even if it happens only when the child is tired
- Poor hand/eye coordination
- Clumsiness, often bumping into things
- Reversing letters, or confusing words when reading or writing
- Losing place easily when reading
- Complaining of headaches or eyes hurting
- Complaining of blurred vision, double vision, dizziness, or nausea
- Seemingly short attention span
Children with visual problems that cause or contribute to learning disorders may experience one, some, or many of the above symptoms. Any time you suspect that your child may have a visual problem, it is important to discuss your situation with a developmental optometrist as soon as possible.
Vision therapy works to improve the coordination between the brain and the visual system. Vision therapy involves specific visual exercises and activities and is performed under the supervision of a developmental optometrist. Vision therapy is sometimes called neuro-visual rehabilitation because it improves the coordination and function of the brain’s ability to use the eyes more effectively and appropriately. This in turn corrects vision problems that can interfere with reading and learning.
An optometrist may use a variety of tools during vision therapy, including corrective lenses, computer programs, eye patches, prisms and other tools that help train the eyes and brain.
At Mountainview Vision Therapy, we can help you explore the possibility that your child may have visual problems that prevent them from being able to excel in an academic environment. Contact us today at 509-972-6688 for a consultation to learn more about vision therapy for your child.