Vision in Dyslexia and Specific Learning Difficulties has been an area of interest at Wilson, Wilson and Hancock for over twenty years. Visual defects are quite common in patients with learning difficulties and although are not usually the sole cause of the difficulty, may significantly contribute to it. For example, visual problems can result in blurring and fatigue, slow reading and writing speeds.

At WWH we believe that all children should have a thorough eye examination, however children with dyslexia and other learning difficulties do benefit by seeing an optometrist with a special interest in this area, who will check in detail for any visual difficulties that may be affecting learning. These include focusing problems(accommodation), binocular vision problems (e.g. convergence insufficiency) and Visual Stress Syndrome (use of coloured overlays).

Common symptoms of visual problems found in dyslexia/reading difficulties include:

  • Blurring when reading
  • Double vision at near
  • Frequent rubbing of eyes
  • Close working distance
  • Dislike of reading
  • Tired eyes
  • Patterns seen in text
  • Movement of text
  • Complaints that text is too bright / uncomfortable to look at.

At the end of a comprehensive eye examination, which ideally lasts an hour, the results will be discussed. Glasses, vision training (eye exercises) or coloured lenses may be prescribed to alleviate any symptoms. Treatment of visual difficulties does not cure dyslexia but improves visual efficiency to allow for more comfortable learning. A visual assessment is part of a multidisciplinary approach to learning difficulties. Please note that your child does not have to be diagnosed with a specific learning difficulty in order to have a visual assessment. A visual assessment does not diagnose dyslexia, but pin points any contributing co-existing visual elements.

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