Many symptoms of visual disorders mimic symptoms of dyslexia, ADD and ADHD. Many children and adults carrying the label of dyslexic, ADD or ADHD really have functional vision problems.
Dyslexia type symptoms can occur when there are eye teaming, eye tracking and perceptual problems that can cause words, letters and numbers to appear to move or jump on a page. Many people mistakenly think that they or their children have dyslexia because they can see 20/20 with or without corrective lenses and still have trouble reversing words, letters and numbers. Many of these same children and adults have never been tested for or told that they may have a vision disorder. There are cases where both problems are present. True dyslexia can still be present in rare cases after vision disorders are resolved, but in many cases what was thought of as dyslexic symptoms disappear once the eye teaming, tracking and perceptual vision skills are strengthened. Undiagnosed vision problems can often be confused with ADD or ADHD. Attention span, restlessness and frustration in the classroom and out of the classroom can result from not being able to process the millions of pieces of visual information needed to learn and function in tasks that are needed every day. There are many symptoms that visual disorders, ADD and ADHD have in common. Please make note of the symptom checklist provided on this website. There are several symptoms that are unique to ADD and ADHD such as running and climbing excessively, difficulty in playing quietly and always being “on the go”. When the problem is a visual disorder, there are many instances where parents hear of symptomatic behaviors in the classroom and are baffled as to why they do not observe those same behaviors in the home where visual tasks are less demanding.
Only a comprehensive developmental vision evaluation can eliminate the doubt when diagnosing dyslexia, ADD or ADHD. A comprehensive developmental vision evaluation is more in depth than a regular eye examination and tests all visual skills that are critical to everyday life in the classroom and out.