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 three-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 involves eye-teaming skills or the ability to coordinate both eyes together. Symptoms include eye strain, fatigue, poor attention, and reading avoidance because of words overlapping and causing double vision. Many kids with this problem don’t know what they are seeing isn’t normal, so they say nothing about the problem.
“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” (James 1:8)
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.
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.
“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers. Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.” (Psalm 1)
The Old Testament gives numerous examples of what happens when focus moves off God. As Psalm 1 indicates, this often happens because of who we spend time with regularly. Blurred vision in our spiritual lives leads to fatigue at every level, inability to hear God, and failure to focus when do hear Him.
Oculomotor 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.
“Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:36)
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 following 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.