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Vision Therapy: Helping ASD Patients Approach Normal

Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD, has risen significantly along with speculation about causes and development of treatment programs over the past few decades. The wide range of levels of function embraced by those with the disorder, along with the uncertainty about causes, has combined to create some confusion about what ASD really is. The result is that by December of 2013, there will be a reconfigured, more definitive description of the symptoms that determine an ASD diagnosis.

Many ASD patients suffer from vision disorders related to processing and interpretation of visual images in addition to more common disorders regarding acuity, tracking, eye teaming, focusing, near or farsightedness, and astigmatism. Additionally, there is between a 20 and 50 percent greater chance of strabismus in ASD patients than in normal individuals.

Such disorders contribute to the collection of unusual behaviors found in ASD patients, including toe walking, side viewing, limited visual attention, difficulty coordinating central and peripheral vision, and other actions related to speech and perceptive abilities. Children that seem normal at birth sometimes begin to develop symptoms related to ASD, passing early milestones without problems but experiencing increasingly slower progress as they approach more complicated tasks.

Developmental ophthalmologists and developmental optometrists can test and diagnose many correctable vision problems that might go undetected in a regular eye exam. Improvements are usually noted between two to twelve months after beginning treatment, and can have a lifetime impact, keeping patients engaged in mainstream educational and social environments.

Early detection combined with a vision therapy program designed by an experienced professional, such as Dr. Tod Davis, can minimize delays in learning and cognition, improving vision performance through corrective lenses, prisms, physical exercises and computer games designed to strengthen weaker visual function. Dr. Tod Davis Developmental Optometry and Vision Therapy Services can put over 30 years of experience to work for patients experiencing an ASD diagnosis, creating a vision therapy program specifically designed to deliver optimum performance from each and every patient.

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