Saturday, June 18, 2016

It's not ADD or ADHD when it is actually a visual problem

ADHD and vision research summary


  • Borsting E, Rouse M, Chu R. Measuring ADHD behaviors in children with symptomatic accommodative dysfunction or convergence insufficiency: a preliminary study. Optometry. 2005;76:588–92. [PubMed]

    The results from this preliminary study suggest that school-aged children with symptomatic accommodative dysfunction or convergence insufficiency (eye movement disorders) have a higher frequency of behaviours related to school performance and attention as measured by the a survey called the Connors Parent Rating Scale–Revised Short Form. The survey uses 27 questions to test a broad range of school-related behaviors in the following categories: oppositional, cognitive problems/inattention, hyperactivity, and ADHD Index. 

  • Granet DB, Gomi CF, Ventura R, Miller-Scholte A. The relationship between convergence insufficiency and ADHD. Strabismus. 2005;13:163–8. [PubMed].

    In this study, the researchers found that people diagnosed with ADHD were three times more likely to have convergence insufficiency than the general population. 

  • Gronlund MA, Aring E, Landgren M, Hellstrom A. Visual function and ocular features in children and adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, with and without treatment with stimulants. Eye. 2007;21:494–502. [PubMed].

    In this study, the researchers found that children diagnosed with ADHD have a higher frequency of eye problems than the general population and that the eye problems did not improve when children were on stimulants, which are the drugs that are commonly prescribed to treat ADHD. 

  • Rause, et al. Academic behaviors in children with and without parent-report of ADHD. Optom Vis Sci. 2009 October; 86(10):1169–1177.[PDF]

Monday, March 30, 2015

Astigmatism and academic readiness in pre-school children

There is a new study on vision and learning.  This one investigates the relationship between uncorrected astigmatism and early academic readiness in preschool aged children.

The researchers did a vision screening on 122 three- to five-year-old children enrolled in the Philadelphia Head Start program and examined their academic records.  Children with astigmatism were compared with children who had no astigmatism and looked to see if astigmatism was associated with measures of academic readiness. To assess academic readiness, the researchers used two tests, the teacher-reported Work Sampling System (WSS) and the parent-reported Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ).

The results provide further evidence of the impact that vision has on learning.  The researchers found that the presence of astigmatism was negatively associated with multiple domains of academic readiness. Children with astigmatism scored lower of a variety of academic and developmental measures.  

Here are the results in the study's own words:

Children with astigmatism had significantly lower mean scores on Personal and Social Development, Language and Literacy, and Physical Development domains of the WSS, and on Personal/Social, Communication, and Fine Motor domains of the ASQ. These differences between children with astigmatism and children with no astigmatism persisted after statistically adjusting for age and magnitude of spherical refractive error. Nonparametric tests corroborated these findings for the Language and Literacy and Physical Health and Development domains of the WSS and the Communication domain of the ASQ.

The results reinforce the need for comprehensive vision examinations, and the need for refractive correction to improve academic success in preschool children.  Remember, eye exams with your optometrist are covered by MSP in British Columbia.  There is no need for any child in this province to begin academic life with a disadvantage.


Astigmatism and Early Academic Readiness in Preschool Children
Orlansky, Gale*; Wilmer, Jeremy†; Taub, Marc B.‡; Rutner, Daniella§; Ciner, Elise‡; Gryczynski, Jan∥
Optometry & Vision Science:
March 2015 - Volume 92 - Issue 3 - p 279–285


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