does your child struggle in school but you know they are smart?
Does your child have trouble with timed tests, gets frustrated easily when reading, or even skip words or get lost on the page when reading?
Every child has the ability to learn, but there are sometimes factors that make it more difficult. Vision and the way our eyes work together can have huge effects on the way we gather and process information. If there are any visual skills that are keeping a child from reaching their full potential, we work on helping them overcome those difficulties through doctor directed vision therapy.
Most people think having ‘good vision’ means seeing 20/20. Being able to read the eye chart is actually only a small part of having great functional vision. Vision is more than 20/20!
Some of the more obvious conditions affecting children and adults are an eye turn (strabismus) or lazy eye (amblyopia). In the majority of these cases, there isn’t a problem in the eye muscles themselves. Because of this, vision therapy is a great permanent alternative to surgery.
Some less obvious oculomotor (eye tracking) conditions can be a little harder to be picked up on without an exam by a developmental optometrist. Issues with eye teaming and eye tracking can exhibit these symptom that show up in sports, balance, the classroom, and many times as behavior and attention issues. Sometimes these behaviors manifest as inattention, frustration with reading, and even anger that can resemble ADHD, ADD, or even dyslexia like symptoms.
Our eyes must be able to make important eye movements when reading and following a target. On top of that, both eyes must be working together to be able to send the correct visual information to our brains. Then, our brain must process the information appropriately and then spit it back out. If there is any breakdown in that pathway, it can affect our processing and comprehension.
This can result in:
-reading below grade level
-trouble focusing on a specific task
-getting lost on the page when reading
-words moving on the page
-reversing letters and numbers after the 1st grade
-difficulty copying from the board but easier when copying side by side
-tires easily when reading
-may appear extra clumsy
-does not function well under timed tests
-swinging/attempting to catch before or after the ball in sports
We can have ‘perfect’ eye sight but still experience symptoms because the problem sometimes isn’t in the eye or the eye muscles, it’s in the way the eyes and the brain communicate.
It is estimated that 1 in 10 children have a vision problem severe enough to affect their learning in school. If you think you or your child may be suffering from an undiagnosed vision problem effecting learning, balance, or your daily life activities, please call our office today at 832-653-7135 to schedule a full evaluation.
Dr. Pitts is a member of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development and attends ongoing continuing education in visual development, vision related learning problems, sports vision, and vision rehabilitation. We do binocular vision assessments in our office and offer weekly vision therapy sessions located in our office through our sister company, Cypress Vision Therapy