THE VISION & LEARNING CENTER
Vision Problems in Children with Sensory Processing Disorder
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) affects a wide variety of people. Individuals with SPD and other different diagnoses or labels may have sensory issues such as sound sensitivity, difficulty screening out background noise, or visual sensitivity to fluorescent lights. SPD can occur in conjunction with autism, dyslexia, attention-deficit/hyperactivity
disorder, speech delay, and learning problems (Temple Grandin, PhD, Sensory Focus Magazine; Spring 2013).
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The process of vision rehabilitation begins with setting priorities regarding goals. Following an evaluation we identify the extent of any visual problems, and how they are impacting activities of daily living. In many instance a key family member becomes part of the team in helping restore better visual function. Invariably the patient has received a significant amount of care prior to coming to our office, and a review of reports or records of previous care is essential.
One component of vision rehabilitation may involve low vision services. When this is indicated we refer patients to optometric colleagues who specialize in that field. Our focus is on visual function in the presence of reasonably good eyesight. Rehabilitation may involve refinement or updating of the patient’s lens prescription. In select instances prisms are used to address double vision. This may involve prism to help both eyes work together better. In other instances yoked prism may be used to reposition where the patient is looking. This not only affects the ability to see singly, but can have a profound effect on balance and movement. Yoked prism may be used in cases of visual field loss, neglect or inattention.
In some cases patients are prescribed in-office optometric vision therapy activities to improve visual function and performance. The nature and frequency of the therapy is determined based upon the results of the doctor’s evaluation, the patient’s history, and input from other professionals.
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