Children Diagnosed with Developmental Delays May Also Have Undetected Vision Problems

Many children diagnosed with “developmental delays” also struggle with vision problems; and often parents learn that their child has an accompanying vision problem even after their family eye doctor assured them them that the child’s eyes are normal and healthy, with no need for corrective lenses.

To better understand why your family eye doctor did not detect a vision problem, read this article.

If your child has been diagnosed with developmental delays, and he or she is not making expected progress from working with an occupational therapist or in another type of early learning developmental therapy, it could be due to an undetected vision problem that can be treated with vision therapy.

Vision is so closely related to learning, that nearly every aspect of a child’s development can be slowed or affected by visual system deficiencies or delays. While a typical eye exam may find that a child sees clearly and has healthy eyes, only a thorough vision exam by a developmental optometrist trained in functional vision can properly detect the types of learning-related vision problems that could be interfering with your child’s progress.

To learn more about how vision relates to learning and child development, download this guide and watch this free webinar for parents.

Problems often attributed simply to “developmental delays” in young children that could be caused by or exacerbated by problems with the visual system include:

  • balance and clumsiness
  • gross and fine motor skills
  • poor eye contact
  • paying attention
  • hyperactivity
  • “acting out” and signs of frustration

Most learning-related vision problems are not detected until a child is older, and performance lags in reading, comprehension, writing, spelling, testing, and classroom behavior. However, younger children that have been diagnosed with developmental delays, who are working with other therapists, can benefit from early detection and early intervention. In addition to physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech language therapy, for example, the child can also enter a vision therapy program and make significant progress. A multidisciplinary team approach is often an answer.

If you suspect your child may have a learning-related vision problem, talk to your child’s doctor, teacher, or therapist about your concerns. Show them our resource center for teachers and this article for Occupational Therapists. However, keep in mind that this information may be new to these professionals as well, and you will want to explore all avenues that can support your child’s growth.

The only way to know for sure if your child with developmental delays can benefit from vision therapy is to get a proper diagnoses by scheduling a functional vision exam with a developmental optometrist.

If you are in Olney or Silver Spring, Maryland, contact Dr. Philip Nicholson’s Visual Learning Center to schedule an appointment today.


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