Do You Need Vision Therapy?

June 1, 2012

When a child under performs due to one or more vision-related deficiencies, they have a vision-related learning problem. These problems often get misdiagnosed as ADHD, behavior problems and/or reading disabilities. This happened with our youngest son. Fortunately, a 3-month eye therapy program corrected these deficiencies.

The following points teach about common vision-related learning problems. They also help illustrate some of the common reasons for vision problems in our spiritual lives.

Convergence Insufficiency

Convergence Insufficiency involves eye-teaming skills, or the ability to coordinate both eyes together. Symptoms include eye strain, fatigue, poor attention and reading avoidance from words overlapping and causing double-vision. Many kids with this problem don’t know what they are seeing isn’t normal and say nothing about the problem.

James 1:8 says a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. Just like convergence insufficiency leads to struggles with confidence in reading, spiritual double-vision leads to avoidance of obeying God’s will. Like waves of the ocean, a double-minded man is unpredictable and even destructive.

Accommodative Dysfunction

Eye focusing skills, such as the ability for sustained reading and shifting focus from near to far, fail to function properly with accommodative dysfunction. Symptoms include miscalling easy words, headaches, tiring easily and poor attention and concentration when reading. Accommodative dysfunction results in the inability to focus and results in blurred vision.

The Old Testament gives numerous examples of what happens when focus moves off of God. Psalm 1 also get at this idea as it relates to the type of people we spend time with on a regular basis. Blurred vision in our spiritual lives leads to fatigue at every level, inability to hear God, and failure to focus when do hear Him.

Occulomotor Dysfunction

Occulomotor dysfunction involves eye tracking skills, which involve the ability to point eyes to printed material and then move them from word to word. Symptoms include losing one’s place easily, needing a finger to keep one’s place when reading, slow reading, poor fluency and comprehension, inability to pay attention and difficulty copying words. With this dysfunction, words appear to jump around on the page.

Luke 21:36 addresses constant alertness and paying attention. We don’t know the day or the hour of Christ’s return. Failure to be alert results in wandering outside of God’s will, inability to pay attention when God speaks, and struggle copying the example set for us. We jump around in life without focus or purpose as we overlook the work God gives us.

Vision-related learning problems affect more than just reading. They compromised my son’s ability to properly socialize, to keep focused in and out of school, and to enjoy much of life in general. Vision-related spiritual problems impact our spiritual lives in similar ways by negatively affecting relationships, stealing focus, and robbing joy.

My son needed vision therapy to correct his vision-related learning problems. Vision-related spiritual problems require vision therapy too, and that requires knowing the Essential Elements of Vision Therapy.

10 Responses to “Do You Need Vision Therapy?”

  1. Mark Allman Says:

    I can look behind me and see the consequences of my actions clearly but I have a problem looking forward and seeing clearly whats going to happen when I take certain actions. It is not that I can not see clearly but I let things fog up my vision looking forward until it is too late and I am running into the consequences and wondering how did that happen. Then I am like well duh….

    • Kari Scare Says:

      I get what you're saying for sure. Seems like we can recognize our lessons from the past but struggle applying them to the future and preventing similar mistakes. Also, seems like we easily let life get away from us instead of intentionally keeping short accounts and diligently implementing a preventative maintenance program.

  2. tnealtarver Says:

    I didn't know I was nearsighted until 6th grade when my science teacher noted I had difficulty seeing the blackboard and suggested I have my eyes examined (as opposed to my head). After I put on my 1st pair of glasses, I looked down the street from our house and saw distant trees clearly. Anyone who has his/her vision corrected usually notes seeing leaves on trees or individual blades of grass. For the seeing impaired, we don't know we have bad vision. We think blurry is normal.

    I note this because people who don't know Christ live blurry lives but they think it's normal. I need to remember to treat lost souls with greater grace, after all, I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now see–and that thanks to the grace and mercy of God.

    Kari, you did a marvelous job of taking the eye/vision analogy and connecting it with sound spiritual truth.

    • Kari Scare Says:

      Thanks! I remember the times I got new glasses and could see the details of leave and trees so clearly. Great analogy with the unsaved too. Love that application. It occurs to me that many Christians are still living blurry lives as well in that they are saved, but they fail to see beyond that to the unending blessing that the gospel has for all believers. Great points. Thanks for providing more clarity.

      • Mark Allman Says:

        I remember the first time I got glasses and went to a basketball game and look at the score board and was amazed at all the information it had. I turned to my girl friend who is now my wife and asked her "have you always been able to see that! ?. Of course was her reply. I'm like wow.

  3. We've suspected that my four-year old is having some vision problems, so I've been learning a lot about this lately. Convergence insufficiency seems to be a very common problem – especially nowadays with handheld video games. The docs said just to keep an eye on him but hopefully he'll be OK. What symptoms did you notice for your son?

    • Kari Scare Says:

      He was behind a couple of grade levels in reading, improving but still resisting, comprehension was very low, attention span was terrible, attitude problems during reading and homework time and flipping his b's and d's were the ones I initially noticed. He came to us behind, so I thought it was just because of his poor upbringing to that point. After two years, I just felt like I was missing something, so his teacher suggested checking this out. Her sister apprently had similar problems and had gotten help through vision therapy. So, I went on the web site to our closest therapist (an hour from our home), and the symptoms listed there seemed post on. I started questioning my son and discovered there were more symptoms he had but just hadn't said anything as he thought it was normal. I didn't even know eye therapy existed, but I know make sure others know about it. Hope this helps!

  4. WSM Says:

    Ahhh…I see.

  5. […] wrong focus, and absence of alertness that plague our spiritual lives. After asking the question, Do you Need Vision Therapy, proceed to implementing the necessary […]

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