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Vision Therapy and ADHD

A study at the Children's Eye Center at the University of San Diego, revealed a link to "convergence insufficiency," a common vision disorder, to children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD. The study "showed that children with convergence insufficiency are three time as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than children without the disorder," Dr. Granet of the Center commented. "We don't know if convergence insufficiency makes ADHD or if convergence insufficiency is misdiagnosed as ADHD. What we do know is that more research must be doe on this subject and that patients diagnosed with ADHD should also be evaluated for convergence insufficiency and treated accordingly."

Because of the similar symptoms, of impulsivity, hyperactivity, distractibility and difficulty with reading, children may be mislabeled as ADHD when there really is a vision problem, such as Convergence Insufficient Disorder. This disorder is a condition when a person is unable to maintain proper binocular eye alignment, The muscles of the eye necessary to "convergence" or turn the eye in is weak compared to the muscles responsible to turn the eyes out, or "divergence."

Although most vision problems can be resolved with glasses or patching, a condition such as Convergence Insufficient Disorder is best treated with Vision Therapy, an individual treatment approach also designed to correct visual motor or perceptual cognitive deficiencies. Christine Danley, O.D. with The Center for Vision Therapy and Development in Franklin, TN recommends that "all children who have been diagnosed as having ADD/ADHD should have a vision evaluation with a developmental optometrist. These children often have 20/20 eyesight, but they don't have the necessary visual skills for near work."

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