Temple Grandin, Ph.D, Speaks About Vision Problems in Autism

A world-renowned individual with autism, Temple Grandin spoke to the large gathering of developmental optometrists at the annual meeting of COVD in Phoenix, AZ, in 2003.

In 2006, Vintage Books released an expanded, second edition of Dr. Grandin’s classic book, “Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism”. Dr. Grandin made quite an impression the optometrists in attendance at her lecture and, judging by the content of her book, the converse is true as well.

On page 79, Dr. Grandin writes: “If visual processing problems are suspected, the child should see a developmental optometrist. This is a special eye doctor who can do therapy and exercises to help the processing problems that are inside the brain. In many of these children, the eye itself is normal but faulty wiring in the brain is causing the problem.”

It is vital to understand that children with autism may have normal eyesight (20/20), yet benefit from either special lenses or prisms, and active vision therapy. A new book just published in 2006 by a colleague of ours, Dr. Melvin Kaplan, explores the points made by Temple Grandin in much more detail. Dr, Kaplan’s book is entitled: “Seeing Through New Eyes: Changing the Lives of Children with Autism, Asperger Syndrome and other Developmental Disabilities through Vision Therapy”, and is published by Jessica Kingley Publishers.