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Could Your Child Have a Vision Problem?

If you are concerned your child may be suffering from ADD/ADHD, make sure he or she is screened for vision disorders first. Undetected vision problems can masquerade as ADD/ADHD because symptoms can be very similar. 

For example, children who suffer from eye teaming disorders like convergence insufficiency and convergence excess will display many of the same warning signs as children who suffer from ADD or ADHD. Eye teaming disorders essentially mean that your child has difficulty using his or her two eyes together for close-up activities such as reading and writing. 

When a child is unable to control his or her eye movements, it becomes difficult to focus on print on a page. The words/numbers may appear to jump off or jumble around the page. As a child, this type of eyestrain can become extremely frustrating, resulting in an avoidance of these tasks. So when your child is getting out of his or her seat, taking frequent bathroom breaks, or just generally moving around and fidgeting, he or she could actually be taking a “vision break.” 

Children may not understand that they are seeing anything unusual because it’s normal to them, which is why they could have difficulty communicating that they are having difficulty reading or seeing correctly. This is why scheduling an eye exam to rule out vision disorders is essential before seeking an ADD/ADHD diagnosis. Often vision therapy and other forms of treatment can relieve the problem.