When a parent sees their child struggle with reading, often this will raise some red flags – especially when comparing a child’s reading progress with their classmates.
For some children, their ability to read may get off track for a short time then catch up with the rest of the class. However, when they continue to fall behind the rest, a parent may start seeking additional help or start testing their child for reading or learning disabilities. And when a reading problem is the main concern, a parent may first test their child for Dyslexia.
Dyslexia is a learning disorder that involves difficulty with reading. Often, when the main issue is a reading problem, a struggling reader may be labeled as Dyslexic. However, the interesting thing is that Dyslexia may not be the reason why someone struggles with reading. In fact, a large number of individuals labeled as Dyslexic have treatable visual problems that are at the core of their reading difficulties – a story that is familiar for a young 10-year-old boy named Matthan.
When Matthan started second grade, Kylan – Matthan’s mom – knew something was wrong with his reading abilities, as she noticed Matthan was not keeping up with the class. Watching her child struggle with reading, Kylan began reaching out to others for advice. When speaking with family, friends, or teachers, Kylan said, “Many people told me [his reading abilites] would just “click” and that I should be patient in the process.” She went on to say that they love books in their home, so to keep Matthan’s interest in books, Kylan would read aloud to him.
After several months, Kylan decided to get Matthan tested for Dyslexia. To her surprise, Matthan’s results came back positive for Dyslexia. And following his diagnosis, Kylan worked with Matthan’s school to start a new curriculum as well as weekly tutoring sessions.
After trying these methods out for six months, Kylan noticed, “…he hadn’t made the progress we were hoping for, and his confidence and joy in learning was worsening by the day.” After discussing possible solutions, Mattahan’s tutor suggested Kylan get him tested for tracking issues at Wow Vision Therapy.
During Matthan’s Developmental Vision Evaluation, Kylan told the Wow Vision Therapy team that,”…the worse part of his learning struggles was seeing his confidence deteriorate. He hated feeling ‘different’ and wished he was just like the other kids his age.”
After their evaluation with the Wow Vision Therapy team, Kylan learned that Matthan had 3 different vision conditions that were affecting his abilities to read. And during his evaluation, Kylan learned that depending on its severity, a vision-related learning problem can sometimes be misidentified as Dyslexia – because there are overlapping symptoms between Dyslexia and vision-related learning problems. In fact, 13 of the 17 symptoms of Dyslexia are also associated with vision disorders. Those who exhibit signs or symptoms of dyslexia may have a correctable vision problem, not dyslexia. Nonetheless, Kylan enrolled Matthan into Vision Therapy – a rehabilitative program, prescribed to treat developmental and/or neurologically induced dysfunctions of the visual system.
While in Vision Therapy, Kylan started to see some amazing improvements in Matthan. As Kylan put it, “I saw Matthan’s confidence grow!… He genuinely enjoyed his weekly therapy sessions and actually looked forward to it! I decided if I only saw progress in his confidence it was worth the sacrifice we made.” When working with his therapist, Cheryl, Kylan said, “Cheryl was empowering Matthan in his tasks at therapy. She made things fun and challenging!”
As Matthan was approaching his final therapy sessions, Kylan shared that, “…Matthan read his first chapter book and understood it! I wept tears of joy. He now is reading grade-level books that before was an unbelievable struggle.” She went on to say, “It has been a really long road and I can’t say thank you enough to the doctors and therapists at Wow Vision Therapy. You hold a special place in this Momma’s heart!”
Disclaimer: The patient, parent or guardian in these stories authorized the use and disclosure of the patient’s name, photographic/video images, diagnosis, prognosis, treatment plan, and/or patient testimonial.
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