If you have a child who is having trouble in school, and the teachers are recommending drugs for ADHD, it is time for a visit with the optometrist. Sometimes, the problem lies with your child's vision and is not related to chemicals and neurotransmitters in the brain. Ask the eye doctor to check for a condition called convergence insufficiency. Solving the problem may be as simple as regular vision therapy, and you can keep your child off stimulant medications. Here are a few ways convergence insufficiency may be confused with ADHD.
Presumed Attention Problems
When the muscles in the eyes do not work in sync with each other, your child may have trouble focusing on things up close. Everything may appear to be blurry, or the letters in a book may seem to move a bit. If the child continues to try to focus, a headache may develop. At some point, the child will look away to alleviate the blurred vision and/or pain. Over time, he or she may realize that looking at the book on the desk causes pain and avoid doing so, and the teacher may reach the conclusion that the child has attention problems.
Presumed Lack of Detail
If your child cannot focus properly, it makes it difficult to pay attention to details when doing schoolwork. Not only does the child not see what he or she is doing on the paper well, trying to focus only makes the problem worse, and again, can cause a headache. The child quickly does what he or she can do, at a bare minimum, and does not pay attention to the small details, such as dotting i's and crossing t's. The teacher believes the child to be lazy and/or distracted by about what is going on outside the window. The truth is, the child can see what is going on outside the window better than the work paper on his or her desk.
A child with convergence insufficiency can pay attention in class as long as it does not involve up close work. He or she may be able to do a problem on the board from his or her seat, but will have trouble with it when called to the board to do it. If the diagnosis is confirmed by the eye doctor, your child will be taught ways to exercise the muscles of the eyes so they work together and send the proper signals to the brain. While it may take a bit of time before things are working correctly, doing vision therapy is much gentler than taking the medications for ADHD. Contact a clinic like Absolute Vision Care for more information.Share