Vision Problems That Interfere with Learning and Sports
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Vision Problems

Vision Problems That Interfere with Learning and Sports

 

A special “thank you” to Dr. Brisco and the staff who helped me in transitioning through a medical challenge. Knowing you are there for me gave me extra strength to continue my fight. God bless!
– Patricia A.

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SK brochure origDr. Brisco has dedicated a large part of the Hollywood Vision Center – Optometry to Developmental Vision Problems, and one of her passions is working with children. Dr. Brisco completed two post doctorate Fellowships, one of them in the field of Developmental and Behavioral Vision which includes the treatment of strabismus, amblyopia, and vision problems that interfere with learning and sports. We care for children of all ages, starting at 6 months of age which is when the American Optometric Association recommends a child’s first visual exam to rule out developmental vision problems. Our doctors consult to more than 40 schools to help children achieve their potential by identifying and treating vision problems that limit academic and athletic achievement. There is a strong connection between vision, reading, learning, and sports. Undiagnosed vision problems interfere with learning and sports performance. Many learning-related issues have a vision component that can be addressed. While some children may need contact lenses or glasses, many vision problems involve deficits in visual skills. These skills include eye tracking, eye teaming, focusing, visual memory and visual discrimination. These children may have “perfect” 20/20 vision, but do not have the visual skills necessary to read and comprehend at an age appropriate level. Having your child’s vision checked early and yearly is important, especially in families with a history of eye problems or learning difficulties. Many vision problems go undiagnosed because children cannot tell if they are seeing clearly, or if their eyes are working correctly. They have nothing to compare their vision to. By the same token, parents and educators cannot see through their child’s or student’s eyes, so often children with vision problems have been described as slow learners, easily distracted, not performing to their potential, poor athletes, or even learning disabled. This is tragic because if detected, these vision problems can be treated so that the child has a full set of skills to perform and compete in the classroom, and in sports. Familiarize yourself with symptoms of vision problems to prevent your child from being frustrated or limited in school and sports.

 

Symptoms of Functional Vision Problems

 

If your child has 2 or more of the following symptoms, a Visual Efficiency and/or Visual Perceptual Evaluation are strongly recommended to determine if deficient visual skills are interfering with your child’s academic performance.

  • Eyes feel tired or uncomfortable when reading or studying
  • Headaches while reading or studying
  • Feels sleepy while reading or studying
  • Not performing to his or her potential in school and sports
  • Difficulty remembering when he/she has read
  • Loses concentration while studying
  • Words move, jump, or appear unstable
  • Double vision
  • Do you feel that your child reads slowly
  • “Pulling” sensation around eyes while reading
  • Words blur, or go in and out of focus
  • Loses place, or jumps over letters or words
  • Re-reads the same line over and over
  • Avoids reading
  • Short attention span while reading compared to other activities
  • Learns better verbally than visually (i.e. when read to rather than when reading to himself)
  • Clumsy while catching or hitting a ball
  • Poor timing in sports
Treatment of Vision Problems

 

WSF Grace 2013If your child has a tracking, eye teaming, focusing, or visual perceptual vision problem, we are here to help. We can improve or remediate learning and sports related vision problems through Vision Therapy which is a type of physical and neuro-cognitive based therapy aimed at teaching correct vision skills that didn’t develop naturally. Vision Therapy is a combination of office and home therapy. Home therapy assignments are designed to reinforce and accelerate the treatment process. The estimated treatment time is based upon how severe, and how many visual skills need work. We often coordinate treatment with other professionals, such as Educational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists, as well as teachers to ensure that all aspects related to learning are addressed. If a child has vision problems, other interventions, and even excellent academic programs, will fall short of treating the whole child since visual input and processing need to be efficient and accurate before learning can take place. There is a very strong relationship between vision and learning. Make sure your child is evaluated every year to make sure they have the necessary visual motor and perceptual skills to succeed in school and sports by starting with an annual Developmental vision exam.

By PeteClearwater: used under a Creative Commons license on Flickr.com

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