Too often, kids are incorrectly diagnosed with all sorts of behavioral problems, when the real issue is something else entirely. You may be relieved to know that he or she may have a hidden vision problem, which hinders learning, known as Convergence Insufficiency (CI).
CI is a near vision issue that negatively impacts your capability to see things at close distances. This means, a person with CI would struggle with reading, writing and working on things, even if it's a book or activity sitting right in front of them. A child with CI has a hard time, or is more or less unable to coordinate his or her eyes at close range, which makes common tasks, like reading, really challenging. And because they want to avoid double vision, CI sufferers exert effort to make their eyes turn back in, or to use the correct medical term, converge. That might not sound all that bad, but that additional strain can often cause a whole lot of uncomfortable issues like headaches from eye strain, blurry or double vision, sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, and reduced comprehension after relatively short reading periods. In more severe instances of CI, the eyes can often turn outwards. This is what we call strabismus.
You may also notice that your son or daughter frequently loses his/her place when reading, squints or tends to shut one eye, struggles when trying to recall what was just read, or tells you that words they look at appear to move, jump, swim or float.
Unfortunately, CI is often misdiagnosed as learning or behavioral issues like ADD, ADHD, dyslexia or anxiety. This problem is easily missed when a child gets a simple eye exam using only an eye chart. A child can have 20/20 eyesight, but still have CI and therefore, struggle with reading.
The good news is that CI usually responds well to professional treatment. These treatments generally involve vision therapy performed by an eye care professional with practice sessions at home, or the use of devices known as prism glasses, which can reduce a number of symptoms. Sadly, most people aren't examined properly, and as a result, aren't receiving the attention they need early enough. So if your child is battling with reading, writing and concentrating, call us to discuss having your child tested for CI.