Concerns that revolve around a possible diagnosis of dyslexia are cause for many families to look toward a vision therapy practice for help. Dyslexia is a medical term for a language-based reading disability. It is a common misconception that all dyslexic persons are prone to seeing letters backward. This is a symptom that is noticed in some of the dyslexic population, but the only symptom that encompasses all dyslexic patients is that their reading level is below the equivalent for their age.
Diagnosis of dyslexia is difficult because the symptoms vary greatly from patient to patient. Often times, those who have been diagnosed with the condition have been told that they have dyslexia only because another cause of their reading problem cannot be established.
Vision therapy may be an answer for some of the dyslexic population. By improving function of the brain that deals with visual information processing, the ability to read more fluently and to comprehend the material can often follow suit. Reading can be improved by working on areas like visual spatial processing, visual perception, and tracking skills. If you have a family member or friend that is struggling with reading, a consultation with a developmental optometristmay help to identify a vision related diagnosis that is not as broad as dyslexia. Even better, vision therapy may help the patient to become a better reader!
Elizabeth Lane, Intern
Michigan College of Optometry