“Son in a gifted program but has difficulty retaining what he reads”
“Is it a learning disability or an undiagnosed vision problem?”
About Vision and Learning Difficulties
Studies indicate that 80% of what we learn is due to our visual system and that 75-90% of classroom learning takes place through vision. Visual skills and processing are heavily involved in reading, writing, spelling, and mathematics. An efficient visual system is necessary for succeeding in school. School requires excellent visual skills and unfortunately, healthy eyes and 20/20 vision do not guarantee an effective vision system. Perceptual, eye tracking, teaming, and focusing problems are often overlooked, even when a child passes a vision screening or eye examination. When a child is falling behind in school or not achieving their potential, an evaluation by an optometrist trained in the detection and treatment of vision-related learning problems is recommended.
Vision Therapy for Learning Disabilities
Vision is often the missing piece of the learning puzzle. Research shows that 60% of students identified as “problem learners” have undetected vision problems. This number increases in individuals diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD. Undetected vision problems can lead to the untimely completion of assignments, avoidance of reading and other school work, misbehavior, and a significant reduction in self-esteem. A thorough evaluation of learning-related vision problems is a key step in a multidisciplinary management approach to learning problems.
How Are Vision Problems Related to Learning Disabilities and Dyslexia?
It is recommended that children receiving remedial services such as special education, IEP, tutoring, occupational or speech therapy, should receive a vision-related learning evaluation. Improved outcomes in other services and significant academic gains can be made through remediation of vision problems.
Parents and educators should be cognizant of the connect between learning and vision disorders. Signs of learning-related vision problems may include:
- Slow reading, poor reading comprehension, difficulty recalling reading, omitting or misreading small words, losing place while reading
- Poor performance in class, difficulty paying attention, mistakes in schoolwork and homework, inability to complete tasks on time
- Reversing or transposing letters or numbers, confusing similar words, confusing left and right, poor spelling, handwriting, and math abilities
- Difficulty following directions, fidgeting during school, giving up easily, becoming easily distracted, overlooking small details
- Confusing similar word, vocalizing or moving lips while reading, difficulty recognizing words in the same sentence
- Sore eyes while reading, difficulty copying from the board, moving head very close when writing or reading
You can address these learning-related vision problems with your child through vision therapy. By addressing these issues directly, it’s possible to help your child’s vision and treat their learning disabilities. To find out if vision therapy might be the right answer for your child, give OCVT a call or fill out our form for a complementary consultation today.