How Do I Know If My Child Needs Vision Therapy?

According to the American Optometric Association, more than 25 percent of children suffer from undetected vision issues. This can negatively impact their academic performance and outdoor activities. 


While most parents and guardians can notice signs of nearsightedness or farsightedness, it is more difficult to detect the kind of vision issues that require vision therapy. So, how would you know if your little one needs vision therapy?


Visual Dysfunction


The percentage above does not refer to children with vision problems that are rectifiable using eyewear. Rather, it refers to a form of vision problem known as visual dysfunction. It is a vision issue characterized by the inability of your child’s eyes to work well together as a team. 


The eyes need to work as a team to keep clear focus, track across pages while reading, perceive dimensions, and perform other vital skills. This is necessary as they undertake their daily activities in and out of the classroom. 


School vision screenings are quite basic and do not perform visual skill tests. This can explain the many children with undetected vision dysfunction. 


Vision Therapy


Vision therapy is the training done by eye specialists to help your child develop essential visual skills. These skills help your little one improve their learning, attention, reading, and concentration. The therapies are specific to your child’s individual needs. 


While vision therapy seems like some basic eye exercise, it is more complex. This is because the therapy aims to improve the communication pathways between your eyes and brain. This enables the overall operation of your child’s visual system. 


Signs Your Child Needs Vision Therapy


There are two major types of symptoms and signs that your little one needs vision therapy: general and learning-based signs and symptoms.


General Signs


  • Blurred or double vision

  • Tilting their head to one side or one shoulder sitting higher than the other

  • A noticeable lazy or crossed eyes

  • Recurrent headaches, nausea, or motion sickness

  • Blinking, squinting, tired eyes

  • Short attention span and might appear uncoordinated and clumsy


Learning-Based Signs


  • Reluctance to read whenever possible

  • Lack of concentration

  • Avoidance of homework, schoolwork, and causing class disruption

  • Difficulty remembering what they were reading

  • Losing their place when reading

  • Rather than move the eyes when reading, they move their head

  • Inability to write answers, but they can verbalize them

  • Skipping lines or words when reading

  • Misjudging distances that often results in bumping into objects

  • Complaining of recurrent eye pain and headaches

  • Struggling with handwriting and holding books very close when reading


The Takeaway


Many children often receive an incorrect diagnosis with behavior-based ailments such as autism and ADHD when in fact, their behavioral issues are due to vision dysfunction. If they get the correct diagnosis, your child can perform just as well as the other kids at school. 


For this reason, it is vital to take them for a thorough eye exam. Vision therapy can go a long way to improve your child’s quality of life in and out of school.


To find out more about vision therapy for your child, contact Smoot Eye Care at our office in Bedford, Indiana. You can call (812) 675-4199 to book an appointment today.

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