Vision Problems and Special Needs Children
The doctors and vision therapists at SIGHTvt have extensive experience working with children with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, sensory processing disorder and other conditions.
Children with special needs have the same vision problems as neuro-typical children, but with higher incidences. These disorders may include, nearsightedness or farsightedness, as well as other eye-coordination disorders such as eye turns (strabismus), eye movement dysfunction, lazy eye (amblyopia), or poor eye teaming and coordination, causing the child to have a distorted sense of what he is viewing. Depth perception and other visual information-processing problems are also common.
Vision problems of this nature can add to your child’s challenges.
A hidden visual dysfunction may be affecting the child’s behavior, interfering with his ability to read and learn, and reducing his ability to perform routine tasks.
Vision and Autism
Many people on the autism spectrum have vision problems beyond the common nearsightedness and farsightedness. Strabismus (eye turn) and amblyopia (lazy eye) are more commonly found in autistic individuals. Recent research has also shown that difficulty with saccades, the quick point-to-point eye movements used in reading, is a hallmark of autism. Even relatives of autistic persons can present with these motor abnormalities.
Other vision problems common with autism include difficulty tracking, integrating peripheral with central vision, visual swimming and lack of eye contact.
SIGHTvt can help with these conditions. Eye movement disorders, strabismus, amblyopia and other vision problems can be remediated with vision therapy. Dr. Lambright and our team have extensive experience working with patients on the autism spectrum and are experts in developing vision therapy programs that cater to the patient’s specific abilities and needs.
Inaccurate or Incomplete Evaluation
Often, the special needs child is unable to sit still for a traditional eye exam, which can result in an inaccurate or incomplete evaluation. The child may have an intermittent (occasional) rather than a constant eye turn that could go undetected. The eye chart exam measures what the child can see at 20 feet away, but will miss how he sees things up close, such as words in a book. And, unfortunately, children don’t know how they are supposed to see, so they rarely complain, leaving certain problems hidden.
People of any age are candidates for vision therapy. If you or your children are experiencing vision problems, please contact us for a vision evaluation.
Like many skills, visual skills are developed. They can generally be improved through proper therapy techniques. Vision therapy enhances vision by coordinating and improving eye movement, focusing ability and eye-hand coordination. Each patient is guided through new visual experiences by our specialized vision therapists, and learns new ways to perceive and interact with the visual world.