The Positive Effects of Vision Therapy as Treatment for Children Diagnosed with Learning Disabilities or Emotional Problems

Student: Julianna Mola*
Mentor: Barbara Pierce
Major: Biology

Vision therapy is an optometric practice that has been scientifically proven to treat innate vision problems, such as convergence insufficiency, and vision deficiencies derived from trauma, illness, and disease. Treatments are non-invasive, conducted under the supervision of a therapist in office, and regularly practiced at home. Much of vision therapy’s success is warranted to the active participation of the patient. Additionally, there is promise that vision therapy can be utilized to treat children that are misdiagnosed with learning disabilities or emotional and behavioral problems. Optometrists argue that vision insufficiencies are occasionally to blame for the symptoms that lead to improper diagnoses. One study revealed that convergence insufficiency symptoms are closely related to those screened for ADHD. Other research conducted to investigate the usefulness of vision therapy in this manner has demonstrated that the treatments reduce the frequency of adverse academic behaviors in school. Nevertheless, critics of vision therapy to treat misdiagnoses in children argue that published research favoring vision therapy’s efficacy lacks scientific validation and is majorly anecdotal. Despite this unfavorable view, testimonials of patients and their parents, as well as improved academic performance and attentiveness indicates that vision therapy, as a remedy for learning and behavioral disabilities, does offer positive, durable results.

*Honors Senior