Dyslexia & Vision Problems
According to Australian Dyslexia Association, Dyslexia is estimated to affect about 10% of all children. It can also be a cause of loss of self-confidence and waste of potential. Although the dominant view is that it is caused by linguistic and phonological weaknesses, recent research within the field of neuroscience has shown that there is an association between dyslexia and vision problems. These discoveries have led to new methods of treatment, which have shown outstanding results.
As Behavioural Optometrists, we cannot directly address dyslexia, but we can teach dyslexic patients how to better manage visual difficulties. Vision Therapy is often a very effective tool for improving their eye coordination and movement skills, making it easier for them to manage their spelling and reading concerns.
BUT DOES YOUR CHILD REALLY HAVE DYSLEXIA?
At our Behavioural Optometry practices in Sydney we are often approached by parents concerned that their child may be dyslexic because they are experiencing symptoms commonly related to dyslexia.
What many people don’t know is that other vision problems can cause the same or very similar problems as dyslexia and that simple diagnosis and treatment can make a big difference to vision quality. Whilst we cannot diagnose dyslexia, we can test for common vision problems that can cause similar issues.
We recommend that any child with dyslexia or dyslexia-related symptoms have a comprehensive Vision Skills Assessment so as to determine the status of their vision skills. If they are suspected of having dyslexia, but have not formally been diagnosed, we can refer to and co-manage with psychologists, speech pathologists and other health practitioners who can help them meet the learning challenges they face.
Most vision-related problems mimicking dyslexia can be treated effectively through the combination of accurate glasses prescriptions and individually designed vision therapy programs, allowing children to excel in areas where they previously struggled.