How does it feel to have a vision related reading or learning problem?

imagesSo reading is not your child’s favorite thing to do.  Ok, it is one of their least favorite things to do. Actually it’s like pulling teeth! They hate reading and as a parent you are faced with a dilemma. Your child is struggling and you want answers.

If in fact you are one of these parents, you have already begun to talk with your child’s teachers and started extra tutorial programs. But, what if that is still not working? Now you are beginning to wonder what is going on!? You’re suspicious that maybe it could be their eyes! Could it be a vision problem?  No, it can’t be! The school said your child passed the vision screening with perfect score of 20/20.

Presentation1And that is exactly what Connor’s parent’s wondered. Connor’s story begins with a bright young boy who at the end of 1st grade was struggling in reading.  His father, who is also a physician, was puzzled. In his father’s words, “Connor had fallen behind in his reading level toward the end of first grade. As his parents, it was unclear to us because it appeared that he was trying to do his best. After careful observation, we noted he seemed to lose his place frequently, would commonly need to use his finger to follow the lines. He also often had symptoms of headaches, eye fatigue and even motion sickness that, in retrospect, were due to his eventual diagnosis of…

Diagnosis of what?

Connor presented with a vision condition that has a medical diagnosis that affects about 1 in 12 children. But, the medical diagnosis name alone doesn’t communicate what it feels like to have this problem.  

Connor’s condition is treatable with evidence-based research. But, the research doesn’t communicate what it feels like to have this problem.

Connor’s condition is recognized by the American Academy of Optometry as being a serious problem and documented with an authoritative organizational Position Paper.  But an authoritative Position Paper does not communicate what it feels like to have this problem.

Yes, all this is true. Connor is like millions of children who struggle with a vision related reading and learning problem. They have a medical diagnosis, there is research that clearly supports the treatment and doctors and the public have been informed with authoritative position papers. Yet, in spite of these facts, the majority of Americans remains unaware of how these relatively common vision problems tragically affects 2-3 children in every classroom. Just having a medical diagnosis, research or authoritative position papers do not draw public attention to the problem. Indeed the seriousness of the problem remains hidden, an unknown, cloaked behind the technical verbiage.

Not sure if you believe it? Ok, Connor’s medical diagnosis is Convergence Insufficiency complicated with anAccommodative disorder

His condition has been thoroughly researched and published in: Optom Vis Sci. 2012 January ; 89(1): 12–18,Improvement in Academic Behaviors Following Successful Treatment of Convergence Insufficiency and other sources

The American Academy of Optometry published in August 2013 a position paper entitled,  American Academy of Optometry Binocular Vision, Perception, and Pediatric Optometry Position Paper on Optometric Care of the Struggling Student for parents, educators, and other professionals

Oh, you say, “Now I get it!” Unlikely!!

But now, sit back, take 1 minute and watch this video. This is what it feels like…

 

That’s what it feels like, but now is not the time to simply sit back. Please take a few seconds of your time to share this with friends on Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Yes, you can become a part of the solution to a big problem that affects millions of children in the US, and world wide,  who have an undetected vision related reading and learning problem and will struggle in life’s reading and learning challenges because their parents had never heard about this.

Yes, there is a solution but it takes a comprehensive vision examination and a doctor who is performing the necessary tests and looking for these problems. Thanks to Connor’s referring optometrist , Dr. Teresa Seim,  Connor found the help that empowered his life…office-based optometric vision therapy. (Click here for Connor’s story.)

12.2.13

Dan L. Fortenbacher, O.D., FCOVD