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ADHD or Visual Problem: How to Tell the Difference

Vision Problems May Be the CulpritAttention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common condition that affects an estimated 5%-10% of school-aged children. 

Many children with ADHD find it hard to sit and concentrate in the classroom. They make “careless” mistakes in school and while doing homework, even when they really try to get things right. 

Not surprisingly, this affects their self-esteem and makes it even harder for them to learn. 

Sometimes, kids who’ve been diagnosed with ADHD actually have an underdeveloped visual system whose symptoms mimic ADHD. Or they have visual problems that coexist alongside ADHD, which makes learning even more challenging. 

Could your struggling child actually have problems with processing visual information or sub-par visual skills? Contact us today at VUE Vision Therapy Center in Guelph to schedule a functional eye exam. 

The Visual System

A child’s visual system is constantly developing. While eyesight is a central component of vision, so, too, are the multitude of visual skills that help us understand and navigate the world. 

The ability of the 2 eyes to work together as a team in order to follow moving objects and focus on a line of text are crucial. So is their ability to change focus from far to near, such as when a child looks at a classroom board and then at their textbook. 

Convergence insufficiency, which means the eyes don't work well together when looking at close-up objects, can cause headaches, eye strain, and even double vision.

Even children with 20/20 vision can have visual deficits. As with ADHD, visual challenges make it difficult to read, write, concentrate and learn. 

Getting Some Answers

The only way to know whether your child has a visual deficit is by scheduling a functional eye exam with an eye doctor who has the training and experience to diagnose and treat problems related to the visual system. 

In addition to assessing your child’s visual acuity (sharpness of vision), the eye doctor will evaluate their visual skills and their brain’s ability to process visual information. 

Vision Therapy in Guelph

If the eye doctor does find any visual problems, they’ll work with you and your child to develop a customized treatment plan. This may include vision therapy, special glasses, or a combination of both. 

Many children treated by vision therapy start to see an improvement within weeks of starting their in-office and at-home exercises.  

Contact us today at VUE Vision Therapy Center in Guelph to schedule an appointment for a functional vision exam, and to see if vision therapy can help your child.  

Our practice serves patients from Guelph, North York, Kitchener, and York, Ontario and surrounding communities.

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