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Learning Disability or Convergence Insufficiency?

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Does your child have a hard time with school? It's important to be aware that the child might be suffering from a hidden vision issue that effects learning at school. It's called Convergence Insufficiency (CI).

In short, CI is a near vision issue that impacts one's ability to see things at close distances. This means, a person with CI would have trouble reading, writing and working on things, even though it's something just in front of them. A sufferer of CI has a hard time, or is simply not able to coordinate his or her eyes at close distances, which impairs activities like reading. In order to avoid double vision, CI sufferers strain more to make their eyes converge, or turn back in. All this extra burden on the system can often cause a whole lot of uncomfortable issues including headaches from eye strain, blurred vision, double vision, sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, and the inability to comprehend even during small reading periods. Other symptoms include difficulty performing computer work, desk work, playing on handheld video games or doing art work.

You may have also noticed that your son or daughter frequently loses his/her place when reading, squints, rubs, closes or covers an eye, has trouble remembering what was read, or says that words they look at seem to move around on the page. Another issue that often comes up is motion sickness.

CI is often diagnosed incorrectly as ADD or ADHD, dyslexia, or an anxiety disorder. Additionally, this eye condition is easily missed when a child gets a simple eye exam using only an eye chart. A child can have 20/20 vision, but also have CI, and the subsequent difficulties associated with reading.

That said, the good news is that CI typically responds well to treatment, involving either supervised vision therapy in a clinical office with home reinforcement, or prismatic (prism) glasses prescribed to decrease some of the symptoms. Unfortunately, most people aren't screened properly, and because of this, aren't getting the treatment they need early enough. So if you've been told that your child is having a tough time coping with any of the issues mentioned above, see us and make a point to get your child examined for CI.

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