Common Vision Problem Often Misdiagnosed As ADHD

Reporting Kellye Lynn
COLUMBIA, Md. (WJZ)

If you think your child had ADHD or a learning problem, it could be a commonly misdiagnosed vision problem that glasses won’t fix.

Inattention, inability to focus, lack of interest in academic activities–they’re symptoms frequently associated with ADHD.

Healthwatch reporter Kellye Lynn explains if you think your child has ADHD or a learning problem, it could be a commonly misdiagnosed vision problem that
glasses won’t fix.

It’s called convergence insufficiency. It’s a common eye disorder that makes close up tasks like reading and writing difficult.

Jada Jones, 9, is an avid reader even though it sometimes gives her a headache. For Jada, reading has long been a struggle.

“Sometimes I can’t see things I’m suppose to see,” said Jada.

“When she started saying, ‘I’m really not a good reader,’ is when we started feeling really bad. We could see her self-esteem was taking a hit,” said Judy
Jones, Jada’s mom.

The difficulty surfaced in kindergarten and didn’t improve until years later when Jada met with a developmental optometrist.

“It creates a lot of eye strain, fatigue, tension headaches, and these children will have little or no reading comprehension,” said Dr. Michael Kotlicky,
developmental optometrist.

Dr. Kotlicky quickly diagnosed the eye tracking problem as convergence insufficiency.

“The brain has not learned the timing and motor coordination skills it takes to converge, maintain the convergence, start tracking across the page like
a printer or typewriter for extended periods of time,” said Kotlicky.

Jada’s mom says one of Kotlicky’s first questions was how early did Jada walk.

“A lot of babies that start walking fast actually get this convergence insufficiency because they hand-eye coordination babies do while they’re crawling
is stopped,” said Judy.

Fortunately, there is a cure. Since April, Jada has been undergoing vision therapy session.

“Her confidence has improved tremendously since then. She loves to read,” said Judy.

Dr. Kotlicky says with hour-long visual therapy sessions twice a week, most patients can overcome the disorder in four to eight months.

If you think your child may have convergence insufficiency, contact a developmental optometrist for a visual analysis.

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