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Learning Disability or Convergence Insufficiency?

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Many kids are diagnosed with learning or behavioral disabilities when in reality, that's not the issue at all. You may be relieved to know that he or she might be suffering from a hidden condition that hinders learning. It's known as Convergence Insufficiency (CI).

Here's the breakdown: CI is a near vision issue that negatively impacts a child's ability to see things at close distances. This means that a person with CI would have trouble reading, writing and working on things, even if it's something just in front of them. Someone suffering from CI struggles to, or is more or less unable to coordinate his or her eyes at close range, which impairs tasks like reading. To prevent double vision, they try harder to make their eyes converge, or turn back in. This added effort can often cause an astounding amount of uncomfortable issues like eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, double vision, sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, and the inability to comprehend even during relatively small reading periods.

Other things that may point to CI include if your child often loses his or her place when reading, tends to shut one eye to better see, struggles to repeat what they just read, or reports that words seem to be moving. Some children also get motion sickness. And if your son or daughter is sleepy or overworked, it's not uncommon for their symptoms to worsen.

CI is frequently misdiagnosed as ADD or ADHD, dyslexia, or an anxiety disorder. And furthermore, this vision condition is often not picked up when a child gets a simple eye exam using only an eye chart. Your son or daughter might have 20/20 eyesight, but also have CI, and the subsequent troubles with things like reading.

But it's important to know that CI can be expected to respond positively to treatment, which involves either supervised vision therapy in a clinical office with home reinforcement, or prismatic (prism) eyeglasses prescribed to decrease some of the symptoms. Unfortunately, most people aren't examined properly, and as a result, aren't receiving the help they need early enough. So if your child is battling to read and concentrate, speak to us to discuss having that loved one tested for CI.