Tag Archives: learning disability

What Appears to be a Learning Disability Could Be Cured With Vision Therapy

Learning disabilities and vision disorders or visual deficiencies share common signs, symptoms and behaviors. While a learning disability cannot be cured or fixed, common vision problems in children that are often mistaken for learning disabilities, can be successfully treated and cured with vision therapy.

Having 20/20 eyesight does not rule out vision problems that interfere with learning. Watch this video to learn more about the relationship between vision and learning.

A learning disability is a neurological disorder that indicates a person’s brain is “wired” differently. Children with learning disabilities are no less intelligent than their classmates, but they may have difficulty learning through conventional teaching methods. A child with a learning disability may struggle with reading, writing, math, organizing information, memory, or with reasoning skills.

Examples of learning disabilities include auditory processing disorders (difficulty understanding spoken language), dysgraphia (difficulty with writing), dyslexia (difficulty understanding written language), dyscalculia (difficulty with math problems and concepts), and nonverbal disabilities (difficulty with spatial and facial cues).

Each type of learning disability presents unique challenges; and if the disability is identified early enough, children can be taught using different approaches and taught specific skills to cope and even thrive.

Learning-related vision problems may present almost identically to some learning disorders that can be significantly improved or even eliminated permanently with vision therapy.

Both a child with a learning disability and a child with a vision deficiency may reverse, transpose, invert, or mix up letters or words when reading and writing.

Both a child with a learning disability and a child with a vision deficiency may appear restless, fidgety, or distracted in a classroom setting or while doing homework.

Both a child with a learning disability and a child with a vision deficiency may have poor coordination or fine motor skills.

Both a child with a learning disability and a child with a vision deficiency may struggle with reading, writing, spelling, comprehension, and memory.

Both a child with a learning disability and a child with a vision deficiency may perform below grade level on standardized tests or perform more poorly than expected on exams.

Both a child with a learning disability and a child with a vision deficiency may be exceptionally bright or gifted but also struggle in school.

If you or child’s teacher suspect a learning disability, you’ll want to rule out a treatable vision problem. Your child might not need to learn differently. Instead, your child may need to undergo a treatment program to train and reinforce vision skills, with lasting results.

The only way to rule out a vision problem is with a comprehensive vision exam by a developmental optometrist who specializes in functional vision care.

For functional exam and vision therapy in Olney, Maryland or Silver Spring, schedule an appointment with Dr. Philip Nicholson’s Visual Learning Center.

Register for an upcoming webinar here.

Is vision therapy a “proven therapy” or is it “quackery”?

Vision therapy is a proven therapy that is well-documented in medical journals, scientific literature, and supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD, not far from our center.

Despite vision therapy’s solid reputation in the scientific community, awareness about learning-related vision problems and vision therapy’s effectiveness is not widespread. Lack of familiarity sometimes creates a healthy dose of skepticism, which we discuss regularly with parents.

When you learn about something new that challenges previously held beliefs, it is natural to view it with a critical eye. If a child has considerable difficulty reading or writing, your first thoughts are likely to suspect a learning disability or dyslexia. If a child has attention or behavioral problems, popular opinions point to attention deficit disorders (ADD/ADHD).

Learning-related vision problems may be new on your radar; and as a parent, caregiver, teacher, or pediatric occupational therapist, it is your duty to scrutinize new information and work in a child’s best interest.

Obviously no doctor or practice ever wants to be accused of quackery or placed in the same category as a snake oil salesmen. Vision therapy is sometimes confused with “the Bates Method” or the “See Clearly Method” which do not have the same scientific basis or reputation as vision therapy, which is known in the medical literature as Orthoptic Therapy.

Rest assured, vision therapy has been proven effective in treating visual processing problems.

The NIH published results of a study, which proved vision therapy’s efficacy for the most common problems we find in students struggling in school. The Journal of the American Optometric Association has published articles about vision therapy’s effectiveness citing more than 260 peer-reviewed journals.

The reason you are not more familiar with vision therapy is simply that you have not read the studies and journals, and the information has not been picked up by the media or distributed through other outlets. As practitioners of vision therapy, it is our job to inform you about it, and you will find many helpful resources on our website about it.

At the Visual Learning Center, our vision therapy program is based on the latest scientific studies, and we have a proven track record of vision therapy success. Learn more about visual processing skill deficiencies and vision therapy by downloading this guide and watching this webinar.

We offer vision therapy to children and adolescents with learning-related vision problems in our Olney, MD, office, which is convenient to families in Silver Spring.