When children have difficulty doing their homework, focusing on reading, performing well in school or
acting out in class, we often assume that there is some sort of learning disability or behavioral disorder to
blame. However, vision problems can be at the root of many learning and behavioral difficulties.
Children are screened for 20/20 vision at school, but these tests are not comprehensive. There are many
more issues that can arise with vision beyond visual acuity. Many students don’t know how to
communicate their difficulties with vision and focus because they don’t know that what they see is
different from how other people see. Students with eye problems can have extreme difficulties with
reading and writing.
A child that suffers from visual problems may have trouble keeping their place while reading,
remembering what they read, reverse words or have letters that appear to drift across the page. Students
may hold their body in a strange position to read, become very tired while reading and only be able to
read for very short periods of time.
Many children with eye problems go to great lengths to avoid homework. They may feel “stupid” or act out
in school. They may also fall several grade levels behind in reading. These visual problems can manifest
themselves in symptoms that appear similar to Attention Deficit Disorder or Hyperactive Disorder.
Fortunately, these problems can be diagnosed and treated. Specialists who are trained to give
comprehensive visual exams can determine whether or not your child has trouble focusing and specific
problem. Treatment is noninvasive and usually requires therapy. Some therapy includes exercises that
can be done at home, while other therapy needs to be conducted by a visual therapist. According to case
studies presented by America’s Angel, many students see significant improvement in their reading
abilities after only a few months of treatment.
Comprehensive Visual Exam
If your child is struggling in school and no diagnosis seems to improve the situation, you may want to
think about getting a comprehensive visual exam. Talk with your child about what it is like to read and
what they are seeing when they read. You may be able to easily resolve their struggle and improve their
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