There is more to vision than being able to see 20/20. In order to see properly we must move our eyes accurately, smoothly, and quickly from one word to another or from target to target. Each time a child looks from the board to a book, he/she must look precisely from one target to another. This is also true when reading. If a child's visual system has not developed as expected, an eye movement problem may occur. In this situation, tracking may be slow and inaccurate and therefore interfere with reading and thus school performance. Even though a child may have good decoding skills and vocabulary, he/she may still experience reading problems. If this is the case, a tracking problem should be investigated.
OCULAR MOTOR DYSFUNCTION
A tracking problem that results is often referred to oculomotor dysfunction. When the eye movement system is not functioning properly the information that the brain receives does not accurately represent the information in the book or on the board. The information that is received by the brain is only as accurate as the eye movements and tracking of the eyes.
SYMPTOMS OF OCULAR MOTOR DYSFUNCTION
Many people with eye teaming problems may complain of some or all of the following symptoms:
-frequent loss of place when reading
-trouble copying from the board
-need to use a finger or guide while reading
-normal decoding skills, but poor reading comprehension
-short attention span
TREATING EYE TRACKING PROBLEMS
Due to the fact that eye movement problems are unrelated to the clarity of vision, eye glasses are generally an ineffective treatment approach. Many times another form of treatment called vision therapy is recommended. Vision therapy is a treatment program that involves weekly office visits of twenty to thirty minutes. The number of office visits depends on the severity of the condition and typically ranges from several weeks to several months. During these sessions the patients are given individually selected and sequenced activities relating to his/her specific problems and needs. This treatment will develop accurate and efficient eye movements in order to relieve the patient's symptoms. The success of vision therapy has been documented in scientific literature.
DOES MY INSURANCE COVER VISION THERAPY?
Vision therapy is used to treat diagnosed vision conditions. This treatment may be covered under your major medical insurance plan. However, not all insurance companies will cover these services and some may place limits on your coverage.