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ADHD and Vision

Today's children are experiencing increased challenges at school, and many are being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The standard treatment for ADD and ADHD is medication, however, this single tiered approach often leaves a lot to be desired. 

The Optometrists Network suggests that as many as 70% of children with learning difficulties, including ADD and ADHD, may also have a visual component to learning challenges. Children with vision problems may experience headaches, eyestrain, blurred vision, and may seem to have trouble concentrating on close work like reading and worksheets. These issues are not an indicator of a child's intelligence, but rather, show how debilitating a vision problem can be at school. 

boy with attention deficit discorder

Don't Ignore These Symptoms 

If you suspect that your child has a learning disorder, or has been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, pay special attention to symptoms that may indicate that a visual problem is causing or contributing to your child's learning difficulties. Ask yourself if your child exhibits one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Squinting or blinking often
  • Tilting or turning the head 
  • Rubbing eyes after reading or doing close work for a short period of time
  • Reads using a finger to follow the words 
  • Holds objects very close to eyes to see 
  • Drifting of one eye, even if it happens only when the child is tired 
  • Poor hand/eye coordination
  • Clumsiness, often bumping into things 
  • Reversing words when reading or writing 
  • Losing place easily when reading
  • Complaining of headaches or eyes hurting 
  • Complaining of blurred vision, double vision, dizziness, or nausea 
  • Seemingly short attention span

Children with visual problems that cause or contribute to learning disorders may experience one, some, or many of the above symptoms. Any time you suspect that your child may have a visual problem, it is important to discuss your situation with developmental optometrists as soon as possible. 

Vision Therapy in the Yakima, Ellensburg, Wenatchee, Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland, WA communities for ADHD

Vision therapy is like physical therapy for the eyes that works to improve the coordination of visual system. Vision therapy involves specific visual exercises and activities, depending on the individual needs of the child, and is performed under the supervision of developmental optometrists. Vision therapy is sometimes called neuro-visual rehabilitation because instead of making muscles of the eye stronger, it improves the coordination and function of the brain’s ability to use the eyes more effectively and appropriately.  This in turn corrects vision problems that can interfere with learning, reading, and academics. 

An optometrist may use a variety of tools during vision therapy, including corrective lenses, computers, eye patches, prism lenses, vestibular devices, and other tools that help train the eyes and brain. 

At Washington Vision Therapy Center, we can help you explore the possibility that your child may have visual problems that prevent them from being able to excel in an academic environment. Contact us today at 509-654-9256 for a consultation to learn more about vision therapy for your child. 

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