In my last blog, I touched a little on vision, reading and learning. Did you know that there are 17 visual skills involved in learning?
Some of these include:
- eye tracking (the eyes following the words on the page)
- eye teaming (the eyes need to align onto the same word at the same time)
- eye focusing (keeping the words clear)
- visual processing (this includes visual memory for word recognition and directionality for letter reversals)
From the January 2020 Review of Optometry article, “New Thinking on Binocular Vision Problems”, these statistics are quite interesting:
- 49% of children and adolescents have a Convergence Insufficiency (unable to align the eyes onto the page) after a concussion.
- 9.8% of children with Convergence Insufficiency had a diagnosis of ADHD; and 15.9% with a diagnosis of ADHD had a Convergence Insufficiency.
From Harvard Medical School: –80% of children who had Dyslexia also had visual processing deficits that could be treated with Vision Therapy.
From the Waterloo School of Optometry: -of 121 elementary school children who were identified with reading problems, 35% had poor focusing skills (could not keep the words clear consistently), as well as poor tracking. They also could not maintain proper eye alignment on the page (convergence insufficiency).
These are all things to keep in mind when someone (child or adult) is struggling with reading tasks. The important first step is to have the annual eye examination with your regular optometrist to ensure everything is healthy and that glasses or a change in prescription are not necessary. The next step would be a Binocular Vision Evaluation where the visual skills associated to reading, as well as those necessary for other life skills such as sports and work, are fully assessed. By remediating these skills, we often find that the ADHD symptoms decrease significantly, and that frustrations with school work reduce as well. This leaves room for a more harmonious home and school environment for parents, teachers and the students!