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Few situations are more distressing for parents than seeing their kids struggle with their reading and writing skills. Dyslexia is perhaps the most infamous such learning/language disorder, but an early diagnosis and prompt response can help patients overcome this threat to their future achievement -- and in many cases of "dyslexia," the problem may actually be an eye or vision disorder. Either optometrist on our team here at Visionary Eye Care can administer the necessary tests and make the appropriate recommendations to set your child on the path to easier, more successful learning.
Dyslexia is actually a fairly broad term to describe conditions that interfere with the ability to use written or (in some cases) spoken language normally. Since these forms of communication are so critical for understanding and processing our information-rich world, dyslexia is generally classified as a learning disorder. Dyslexic individuals are born with the condition, which seems to involve abnormalities in the brain's ability to interpret letters or "hear" words correctly. Dyslexia isn't related to intelligence, but it can prove a frustrating roadblock to academic achievement and workplace advancement.
Many people assume that dyslexia is related to vision problems, but this only true up to a point. While true dyslexia occurs entirely in the brain eye function issues can definitely occur alongside dyslexia, making the impediment that much harder to live with. These problems can also mimic the symptoms of dyslexia, causing blurring, distortion, or even "motion" in letters and making accurate reading and writing all but impossible. Ocular problems that can imitate or aggravate dyslexia include:
Your optometrist at Visionary Eye Care can uncover many eye function and visual acuity challenges even before an actual reading/writing deficiency is obvious. Our comprehensive eye and vision exams can detect problems with eye alignment, eye motion, binocular vision and pattern recognition even in very small children. Refractive evaluations and vision testing can reveal a refractive error that needs to be corrected with eyeglasses. Eye function problems can be treated with vision therapy exercises, lenses, patching and other techniques.
If your child passes all these evaluations with flying colors but still has trouble recognizing and using language, he may have true dyslexia. Even in this scenario, however, there are numerous strategies that can help, from reading to your child and playing "sound it out" games at home to scheduling cognitive testing with a dyslexia specialist. Knowing that you're treating the right condition with the right response can prove immeasurably valuable.
If you're worried that your child might have dyslexia, call (813) 425-9596 for an appointment at Visionary Eye Care in North Tampa. We're here to help your whole family thrive!
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