Vision Related Learning Problems

Almost every time I start with a new student, I will recommend the student receive an eye exam from a developmental optometrist.  The reason I started doing this is because it has happened often enough that after working with a student for adequate intervention time, they don’t seem to make the progress as I would expect. After a few months, I then refer to a developmental optometrist and almost every time, that child was in need of glasses or vision therapy.

Why a developmental optometrist?  A developmental optometrist can detect vision deficits that a typical optometrist cannot.  It surprises many parents that there can be very serious visual deficits beyond acuity.  The book The Hidden Link Between Vision and Learning by Wendy Beth Rosman does a great job of explaining this link and why so many children get misdiagnosed with a learning disability when there are really visual deficits that need to be remediated.  

The most common visual deficits I have seen students have include vergence, eye teaming difficulties,  focus accommodations, visual spatial skills, bilateral integration, visual motor integration, visual sequential memory, visual form recognition/discrimination.  There are many more visual skills necessary for fluent reading as well.