Has your child struggled with reading or writing? Both? Do you find that a little homework takes hours of time, with you holding your child’s hand through the entire ordeal? Or do you receive reports from the school that your child – although brilliant in conversation – is suffering in grades, fails to sit still, and causes disruptions? Or maybe your child’s already been diagnosed as having ADD or ADHD, but still struggles no matter the treatment?
Maintaining healthy eyes is important from the time of birth. Your child’s ability to see plays a role in all aspects of life, including learning in school. If you suspect there may be problems with your child’s eye development, there are many options. One of them is vision therapy.
There are many eye disorders which can impair your child’s ability to learn. In fact, reports of children being misdiagnosed are very common. Children with undetected vision problems often display characteristics that can be mistaken as ADD or ADHD. Stories abound of kids that have been put on Ritalin or Adderall only to later find out that vision therapy was what they needed, not medication.
Vision disorders come in many forms, but many of them are treatable. Vision disorders are the fourth most common disability in the United States. When you consider that up to 80 percent of learning in the classroom takes place through vision, this fact has huge significance in the education of children. Some examples of vision disorders are:
Commonly called “lazy eye,” this disorder is caused by the underdevelopment of nerves that connect the eye to the brain. This can lead to blurry or incorrect images being transmitted through the nerve.
The affected eye will often wander and does not follow the path of the other eye.
Crossed or turned eyes are the result of the eye’s muscles not working together. In children, this commonly leads to double vision and the eventual adopting of a head tilt to compensate for the eyes. Children rarely complain about seeing double vision, so eye exams are important in detecting this impairment.
This disorder leads to difficulties reading and focusing on items close to the eyes. When looking at something from close range, the eyes normally turn inward to converge on the item being looked at. In someone with convergence insufficiency, the eyes are unable to turn in this manner and leads to difficulty seeing the item. School-aged children are the most commonly diagnosed.
When your child is diagnosed with such a vision disorder, prescriptive lenses are not going to address the route of the problem, because they address anomalies in the eye itself, not on the coordination of surrounding muscles and nerves. These disorders are best treated through vision therapy. Vision therapy focuses on exercises, eye patches, and other modes to address and correct vision disorders caused by muscular coordination or nerve-based, rather than strictly eye-based, issues.
Dr. Davis has been in the field of vision therapy for over 30 years. Having grown up with an undiagnosed vision disorder, he empathizes with the pain and frustration that such can cause, for parents and children alike. If your child is passing “20/20″ vision tests, but still complains about not being able to read the chalkboard in class, or if your child complains of headaches or blurred vision, call Virginia Vision Therapy Center today. We will test your child’s vision to determine if vision therapy is the key; and if so, will work with you to create a plan that will give your child a future again.