Learning disabilities include disorders in understanding or using spoken or written language or symbols. These disorders result from the brain's misinterpretation of images received and relayed by the eyes, rather than from structural or functional problem in the eyes. That’s why learning disabilities are not treatable by eye exercises or vision therapy. Children with learning disabilities do not have more visual problems than those who do not have learning disabilities.

What to look for: The child may experience problems with reading (dyslexia), writing, listening, speaking, concentration, or mathematical calculations.

What to do: Public schools are required by law to evaluate any child who is thought to have a learning disability; the evaluation should include a complete eye examination by an Eye M.D. (ophthalmologist). Treatment for learning disabilities is best provided through an educational approach, using tutors and resource teachers. Whether or not learning disabilities are suspected, all students need vision screening to check for visual acuity and general eye health.

Read the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s statement on learning disabilities and vision.

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