Unfortunately, children with special needs are already at a deficit and may struggle to perform daily tasks. Moreover, they're more prone to vision problems than the average person. Those who have both special needs and vision problems may struggle even more.
Fortunately, at Anderson Family Vision Therapy, our optometrist works with individuals with special needs on a regular basis and can perform vision therapy to help overcome their vision problems.
Why Get Vision Therapy
Children with special needs already have struggles they face every day and challenges they have to overcome. For instance, a child may have difficulty paying attention in school or experience difficulty facing social situations. These problems and others impact a child's education and entire life. With the added dilemma of a vision problem, it's very easy for a special needs child to fall behind and feel very overwhelmed.
With vision therapy, a special needs child can overcome the problems with his or her eyesight and strictly focus on their other challenges.
Identifying a Problem
Some children are scared to tell their parents that they're having issues, or they may not know how to tell their parents. On the other hand, some special needs children can't communicate with their parents that they have a problem. For these reasons, a parent needs to pay attention to the signs of a vision issue.
One example is that a child may omit words or lines when reading. He or she may have poor reading comprehension skills because it's hard for a child to read correctly.
Due to the hardships that come with reading with a vision problem, a child may feel restless in school and have trouble focusing. Copying from the board may be a struggle for the child.
Sometimes, a teacher may suspect a child has ADHD when it's really a vision deficit.
Other signs of a vision deficit include the following:
- Having an eye that turns out or in
- Head tilting or closing one eye when reading
- Difficult looking at someone when listening
- Knocking items over
- Motion sickness
Types of Vision Problems Therapy Can Help With
Our optometrist may treat problems, such as:
- Convergence Insufficiency - occurs when your child's eyes don't work together. One eye turns outward. It leads to blurred or double vision. Some children with this condition have an inability to focus or headaches.
- Amblyopia - commonly known as a lazy eye. The brain doesn't communicate with both of your child's eyes effectively. The brain only recognizes signals from one of your child's eyes. Eventually, your child's brain will rely more and more on the stronger eye.
- Double Vision - a condition where a person sees two of one object. It may be caused by an issue like convergence insufficiency.
- Eye Tracking Problems - occurs when a child's eyes can't follow along. Your child may skip words or lines when reading.
- Strabismus - refers to a condition where the eyes that don't align with one another. The most common form is crossed eyes.
Vision Therapy for Children With Special Needs
Vision therapy may consist of guiding your child through exercises that work the muscles in his or her eyes. Dr. Anderson will help retrain your child's eyes. Sometimes, your child may require an eye patch or a prescription for glasses.
Since your child has special needs, we'll alter the treatment based on his or her condition to make it as comfortable for your child as possible.