Vision Therapy and Learning-Related Vision Issues #2 – Diagnosis
Vision and learning are intimately related. In fact, experts say that roughly 80 percent of what a child learns in school is information that is presented visually. So good vision is essential for students of all ages to reach their full academic potential.
About 75% of students work twice as hard for their academic success because of a significant visual dysfunction.
Types Of Learning-Related Vision Problems
Vision is a complex process that involves not only the eyes but the brain. Specific learning-related vision problems can be classified as one of three types.
- Eye health and refractive problems.These problems can affect the visual acuityin each eye. Refractive errors include nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Eye health problems need to be ruled out.
- Functional vision problems.Functional vision refers to a variety of specific functions of the eyeand the neurological control of these functions, such as eye teaming (binocularity), fine eye movements (important for efficient reading), and accommodation (focusing amplitude, accuracy and flexibility). Deficits of functional visual skills can cause blurred or double vision, eye strain and headaches that can affect learning. Convergence insufficiency is a specific type of functional vision problem that affects the ability of the two eyes to stay accurately and comfortably aligned during reading.
- Perceptual vision problems. Vision information processing (VIP) skills allow you to make sense of what you see. These skills includes understanding what you see, identifying it, judging its importance and relating it to previously stored information in the brain. This means, for example, recognizing words that you have seen previously, and forming a mental picture of the words you see.
Learning-related vision problems can be assessed with vision therapy. To determine candidacy for vision therapy to help improve clear comfortable vision and school performance, a 2-hour Initial Assessment is completed. This testing is a critical appraisal of 12 visual skills related to visual performance, that goes far beyond the basic eye exam and 20/20 vision clarity; it assesses visual efficiency (eye focusing and teaming), reading eye movements and visual information processing (VIP) skills. If two or more of these visual skills are significantly below normal then they are likely creating visual-anchors and reduced school performance. These deficient visual skills are remedial with diligent effort with vision therapy that is doctor directed.