What Your Pediatrician Says About Vision Therapy

Untitled designPediatricians Caution Parents Not to Waste Money on Vision Therapy

Beginning about 5 years ago pediatricians started cautioning parents of kids with reading disorders to avoid ineffective and costly treatments such as vision therapy and to look instead for  “proven education and language-based interventions”.


This year Pediatrics journal published another study that supports this advice. In research based on thousands of children aged 7 to 9, no evidence was found for an association between specific learning disorders with impairment in reading (dyslexia) and vision abnormalities.  The researchers concluded that there is no evidence that vision-based treatments would be helpful for children with severe reading impairments.

Pediatric ophthalmologists explain: “Children with dyslexia often lose their place while reading because they struggle to decode a letter or word combination and/or because of lack of comprehension, not because of a “tracking abnormality.’ ” (Vision Therapy, American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus website)

Especially when you are worried about your child it is not hard to be fooled by “pseudo-scientific” jargon! IDA_Logo_Brand_Guide1
The International Dyslexia Association (IDA)  has
a fact sheet designed to help parents “critically evaluate programs, avoid scams, and move forward toward providing instruction that will truly help…”.  Lexercise is a corporate member of IDA and Lexercise therapy meets and exceeds IDA standards.  

If you are worried about your child’s reading, spelling and/or writing the free, online Lexercise Dyslexia Screener is a good place to start. If your child struggles to read the single, large-font words on this screener you can be pretty sure it is not due to their vision!

2 Responses to What Your Pediatrician Says About Vision Therapy

  • Jennifer N. commented

    Sandie, I have been reading many of your posts since I found your website earlier this year. I am a former public school teacher with a master’s in reading and during my time at home while my children are not all school-aged yet, I am finally learning about how to teach reading using the Structured Language approach. My question here is have you heard about children who have trouble focusing their binocular vision and how this affects their reading? Would this be an instance when some type of vision therapy is needed? I had read about this problem before on the web but never encountered it personally or professionally until an acquaintance of mine approached me just last month about one of her children.

    • Jennifer,
      Below are best references I can give you about how vision difficulties, including difficulties with binocular vision, may or may not impact reading:

      Five Ways Not to Treat Dyslexia (by our Advisory Board member, Dr. William Young, pediatric ophthalmologist)
      What Your Pediatrician Says About Vision Therapy

      As these articles make clear, reading problems are rarely related to vision issues. But if you think your child has a vision problem this is easily tested, and we’d recommend consulting with your pediatrician or a pediatric ophthalmologist. Pediatric ophthalmologists are medical doctors with advanced training in pediatrics and eye disorders and their professional association, The American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, has some of the best patient education materials we have seen for parents who are worried about their child’s reading.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Improve Your Child’s Reading

Learn more about Lexercise today.

62,318 Parents rate the Lexercise Screener 4.80 out of 5 stars.
Schedule a FREE
15-minute consultation

Sandie Barrie Blackley, MA/CCC

MA/CCC - Cofounder and CKO

Sandie is a speech-language pathologist with more than 30 years of experience in the private practice sector. She is Visiting Assistant Professor of Communication Sciences & Disorders at University of North Carolina Greensboro, and founder/owner of the Language & Learning Clinic, PLLC, a private practice in Elkin, NC, and Greensboro, NC, specializing in communication disorders, including disorders of reading and written language.