When a child struggles in reading and learning it is critically important to have their vision evaluated for not only eye health and eye sight, but also binocular vision. A child who has aåÊbinocular vision problem, such as convergence insufficiency(CI)åÊor intermittent exotropia will typically experienceåÊreading andåÊlearning problems. Study’s show that approximately 5% of children in the classroom have CI.
Parents should rely only on the advise of åÊeye doctors whoåÊare experienced in working with children. Too often a child with a binocular vision problem will needlessly struggle because of misinformation or lack of a proper diagnosis.åÊ David’s story is a good example of a child who struggled foråÊ4 years before his mother found help.
Dan L. Fortenbacher, O.D., FCOVD
David wasåÊidentified with a vision problem by the county vision screeningåÊin kindergarten (he failed the depth perception or ball in the box test).åÊ He was referred to see an eye doctor.åÊ David was originally seen by an ophthalmologist and diagnosed with intermittent exotropia in his left eye.åÊ He had 20/20 vision and seemed to have excellent control of his exotropia.åÊ The doctors believed that David would compensate for his vision problems and these problems were believed not to have any effect on his tracking abilities or learning skills.
David seemed to be fine in his developing skill set, however, by the end of first grade, he began to struggle.åÊ He started to have headaches and tummy aches before school, when doing homework, and while ridingåÊin the car.
DavidÛªs struggle continued into second grade causing him to fall further behind in reading and develop a strong dislike for school.åÊ Soon we attended and consulted another veteran ophthalmologist for a second opinion.åÊ Tutoring seemed to help, but still did not seem to solve the problem completely.åÊ The second ophthalmologist again stated that vision was not the cause of learning difficulty.
In third grade we were referred to Dr. SeimÛªs office at Mattawan Family Eye care who suggested that DavidÛªs vision was causing possible double & unclear vision affecting not only his reading, but all facets of learning.åÊ She suggested that David see Dr. Fortenbacher at Wow Vision Therapy in St. Joseph for further testing and treatment.
THANK YOU Û_ Debra (his vision therapist), Dr. Fortenbacher, and all vision therapy staff at Wow Vision Therapy.åÊ David has now completed vision therapy. He has gained confidence in himself, and no longer dislikes school.åÊ David no longer gets headaches when he reads, plays video games, does homework, or concentrates in the car.åÊ ** David is now a successful 4th grade student currently pulling an “A” in Mathematics, aåÊ”B” in Language Arts, and an “A-” in Reading! (NotåÊbad after the public school recommended he not move forward to 4th grade.)
-Terry Elenga, David’s mother