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  • Writer's pictureAmanda R. Zeller Manley, OD, FCOVD

Is it a Behavior Problem? Or a Vision Problem?

Updated: Oct 12, 2020

I recently had a discussion with a parent about behavior and vision problems. A mom of

photo from

one of our patients told me that the biggest change she has noticed is that,

“It’s not nuclear war anymore,”

when she tells her daughter it’s homework time. This makes perfect sense to me, and we hear similar stories all the time. If you, as an adult, were asked to do something frustrating,

arduous and painful, on a daily basis, you would eventually refuse. You might even throw a temper tantrum.

Maud at AwfullyChipper wrote to me that

“I really want to make others aware of vision therapy because I know there must be many children out there who’ve just been labelled slow readers (or disruptive, ADD, etc.) when in fact they have vision difficulties. I hope I can help spread the word.”

In fact, studies have been published showing that, indeed, “adverse academic behaviors” decrease following successful treatment for Convergence Insufficiency, one of the more common binocular vision problems we see. The behavior questions used in the study were:

  1. How often does your child have difficulty completing assignments at school?

  2. How often does your child have difficulty completing homework?

  3. How often does your child avoid or say he/she does not want to do tasks that require reading or close work?

  4. How often does your child fail to give attention to details or make careless mistakes in schoolwork or homework?

  5. How often does your child appear inattentive or easily distracted during reading or close work?

  6. How often do you worry about your child’s school performance?

weighted symptom checklist

weighted symptom checklist

It’s important to note that there are other symptoms that may point you to a vision problem. For a more comprehensive list, see our Weighted symptom checklist.

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