Children with special needs such as Down Syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, premature birth or other genetic disorders are often faced with many challenges throughout life. One of those challenges that can affect them on a daily basis is the risk of developing a vision disorder.
While the vision disorders that affect kids with special needs can be the same as those of neurotypical kids, they tend to experience them at a higher rate. For this reason, it’s important to keep up on regular eye exams in order to detect the following types of issues.
- Focusing issues – the inability to focus on objects that are either close up or far away
- Tracking issues – eye movements may be slow, inaccurate or jump around
- Poor visual attention – the inability to filter out non-essential visual information when viewing the world
- Poor eye teaming and coordination – problems with both eyes working together in a coordinated way
- Poor hand-eye coordination – difficulty completing a physical task based on the visual information received by the eyes
Watch for These Signs
Even if your child is not able to clearly articulate a vision issue, there are certain signs that you can look for that could indicate a problem:
- Skips or repeats words or lines when reading
- Closes one eye when reading
- Poor reading comprehension
- Trouble concentrating when reading
- Holds books very close when reading
- Messy handwriting
- Unusual neck or body posture
- Trips frequently or knocks things over
- Experiences motion sickness
- One or both eyes turn inward or outward
Vision Therapy for Special Needs
The specially trained optometrists at Family Vision Development Center provide individualized, one-on-one vision therapy programs that can be an extremely effective form of treatment for kids with a vision disorder. Once we have clearly identified the visual issue, this vision therapy serves as a kind of re-training of the eyes and brain to develop or restore proper visual function.
At Family Vision Development Center, we understand the importance of providing the best possible care for kids with special needs. And our caring providers always strive to help every child overcome their challenges and achieve the most healthy vision possible. Contact our Aurora office at 630-862-2020 to learn more or to schedule your appointment.
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