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Does Your Child Have Dyslexia

Does Your Child Have Dyslexia or a Vision Problem – Or Both?

Dyslexia is a condition that affects areas of the brain responsible for information processing, limiting one’s ability to decode letters, identify speech sounds and learn how sounds relate to letters and words. Because it adversely affects a person’s ability to read, spell, write and even speak, it inevitably leads to learning difficulties.

But dyslexia is just one reason a child or adult may have trouble learning. Quite often, undetected vision problems impede a person’s ability to read and perform other tasks. If vision is the culprit, vision therapy can often alleviate or even cure the problem.

This is why it’s so important to receive a proper diagnosis to determine whether learning difficulties are caused by dyslexia or a vision problem — or perhaps both. Even if you’ve already received a dyslexia diagnosis, rule out any concurrent vision problems by setting up an appointment with Dr. Shaun Golemba for a comprehensive eye exam.

What Is Dyslexia?

1 in 10 people has dyslexia, which affects areas of the brain responsible for processing language. People with this condition tend to have trouble spelling, and often mix up letters and sounds. They will reverse letters within words: seeing a b and thinking it’s a d, seeing a p and thinking it’s a q, or reading the word cat as tac.

Dyslexia is a learning disability. It does not affect intelligence. With the proper diagnosis and educational support, children and adults with dyslexia can thrive in every setting.

How Is Dyslexia Treated?

While there is currently no cure or medical treatment for dyslexia, it can be better managed with the help of a trained teacher, tutor, or reading specialist.

The teacher or tutor will offer special activities to help the person recognize speech sounds in words (called phonemic awareness) and letter-sound correspondences (called phonics).

Learning Disability and Vision Problems

Learning Disability and Vision ProblemsIt’s often impossible for a teacher or parent to know whether a child has a vision problem or dyslexia because both conditions can manifest in similar ways. Like dyslexia, poor visual skills can hinder a children’s ability to succeed in school. This, in turn, lowers self-esteem and confidence levels.

A Few of the Vision Problems That Affect Learning

  • Problems with eye tracking – the eyes’ inability to follow a line of print
  • Issues with eye teaming – the inability of both eyes to work together as a synchronized team
  • Poor binocular vision – refers to the struggle to simultaneously blend the images from both eyes into a single image
  • Accommodation problems – a decreased ability to converge the eyes and maintain clear vision when focusing on a near object
  • Problems with visual perception – refers to poor visual memory, reduced visual form perception, and poor visualization skills

Any of these can cause a child to struggle to make sense of the information taken in through his or her eyes. This makes it difficult for even the brightest children to grasp the subject at hand, which, in turn, can result in secondary behavioral issues.

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Shaun Golemba to receive a comprehensive eye exam. If, after the eye evaluation, it is determined that your child has certain deficiencies in his or her visual skills, Dr. Shaun Golemba will create an individualized vision therapy program to develop and enhance these skills.

What is Vision Therapy?

Vision therapy is a fully customized program to meet the individual needs of every patient. The optometrist will devise a structured program following an extensive assessment of the visual skills.

This therapy is made up of a series of visual exercises that improve fundamental skills. It teaches the brain and eyes to work together as a team. Better visual functioning leads to improved reading levels, writing skills, and enhanced information processing.

As part of the therapeutic process, vision therapists utilize various tools, such as specialized lenses, prisms, patches, filters, balance boards, and digital simulations. Each treatment session takes place once or twice a week in the office under the supervision of the eye doctor, who will also prescribe daily at-home exercises.

Can Dyslexia Be Treated With Vision Therapy?

Many people mistakenly believe that dyslexia is a vision problem; it is a brain processing problem that cannot be treated with vision therapy. However, undiagnosed visual problems are commonly misdiagnosed as dyslexia. Therefore, it’s important to get a comprehensive eye evaluation by an eye doctor to rule out any vision problems. As mentioned above, if a child with dyslexia also has a vision problem, vision therapy can effectively enhance any deficient vision skills.

To learn more and discuss the ways vision therapy might help your child, please contact Vision Therapy Center At Valley Vision Optometry in Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland, Okanagan, and Kootenay’s, throughout British Columbia.

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We are currently offering in-office care by appointment only.

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COVID-19 UPDATE

The following is a summary of the steps we have taken to protect your safety.

Physical Distancing Measures:

o Reducing density of people: We have adopted a schedule which will reduce the amount of patients in our facility at one time.

o We will have some of our team working from home operating a call centre and tele-medicine pre-screening.

o Spacing stickers have been placed on our floor.

Engineering controls:

o Forms have been digitized and will be emailed to patients in advance of the appointment to minimize contact.

o A “For Payment" button has been installed on our website, valleyvisionoptometry.ca for patients to be able to pay from home to minimize contact.

o Plexiglass barriers have been installed at all 3 Front Desk stations

o Our doors will remain locked during Phase 2, opening the door to let in scheduled patients only.

o A dropbox has been installed for patients to drop off glasses in need of repair.

o Contact lens sales are administered through our webstore.

Administrative controls:

o Cleaning protocols have been written. Staff training on these protocols has been scheduled.

o Clear rules are posted on our front door and throughout all of the stations in our office.

Personal protective equipment:

o Patients will be required to wear a mask upon entry to the office and throughout their time with us. Those who do not have a mask will be supplied a surgical mask upon entry.

Policies around sickness:

o Employees and patients with cold or flu symptoms will be required to stay home.

Frequent hand washing:

o Patients, Doctors, and our Team will be required to wash hands upon entry and exit in to the exam rooms.

o Eyewear Consultants will wear gloves when handling eyewear and performing adjustments.

We currently are operating a reduced schedule, so are triaging patients to ensure those with the highest needs are prioritized.

Sincerely,

Dr. Shaun Golemba

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We are open by appointment only. Our current hours are Monday to Friday, 8am – 4pm. Please call our office to schedule an appointment. Read about our safety protocols here.