Even though school is out and it is time for some summer fun, there are those who know that the summer is just a brief vacation from school struggles. The following is a story that may help some of you:
Jacob hated reading. His mother would struggle and fight with him to get his reading homework done. Easily discouraged and frustrated, Jacob would say "I stink at reading". When it came to reading he had very little confidence in himself.
A developmental vision exam uncovered the fact that even though he had "20/20" vision he had difficulty coordinating his eyes and using them together correctly (convergence insufficiency). The result was that he was seeing doubled images when he would try to read. No wonder reading was such a struggle! This was normal for him, and that is the reason that he never mentioned this to his parents. He Fortunately Jacob's vision problem was correctable through a program of optometric vision therapy.
After completing 3 months of vision therapy, his mother had this to share: "His older brother recently finished vision therapy with great success, so we decided we should give it a try for Jacob too. It took some time, effort, patience and hard work but the difference was remarkable. Jacob now has much more confidence in his ability to read. I can't remember the last time I heard him say he stinks. There has been no crying, frustration or pounding fists as before. He will also on occasion pick up a book all by himself and read, or he will sometimes read to his younger sister."
How can vision therapy create such miraculous changes when nothing else had helped? When a vision problem is at the root of a learning difficulty, then trying to address it through tutoring, medication, or other means, will not solve the underlying problem.
Does vision therapy treat learning disabilities, dyslexia or ADD/ADHD? No. Typically children that have vision problems that impact learning are often misdiagnosed as having learning disabilities, dyslexia or ADD/ADHD because the symptoms are very similar. At times the vision problem is just one part of the picture.
Since 80% of learning is dependent upon vision, it is critical that parents and educators ensure they understand the signs and symptoms of vision problems that interfere with learning. Following are some of the most common symptoms:
Distractibility and poor concentration
Frustration with school
Not working up to potential
Errors in copying
Words moving on the page
Slow reading speed
Homework takes "forever"
The good news is if a vision problem is found, and treatment started, your child will be better prepared to learn once the new school year starts in September. For more information please call our office for more information about the critical link between vision and learning.