Children with Special Needs have the same vision problems as neuro-typical children. These disorders may include nearsightedness or farsightedness, as well as other eye-coordination disorders such as
When a child has an eye-coordination disorder they have a distorted sense of what they see, and this can affect their depth perception and ability to engage with the world around them.
Children with special needs also often have visual information-processing problems as well, adding to your child's challenges. These problems may be affecting your child’s behavior, interfering with their ability to read and learn, and reducing their ability to perform routine tasks such as walk down a hallway or grab a cup without spilling its contents out.
Often, the Special Needs child is unable to sit still for a normal routine eye exam,. Those exams are too fast-paced for the child to feel comfortable with the doctor, and the tests used require a high level of cooperation and ability to communicate back and forth; this can often result in inaccurate findings and an incomplete understanding of how the child is using their vision.
Our eyes are actually part of the brain, so it stands to reason that if someone has a neurological disorder that impacts the brain, such as a developmental disorder, that their vision would be compromised in some way. Being able to see things clearly from a distance of 20 feet (i.e., “20/20”) is just one of over 17 visual skills required to read, learn and function in life.
In fact, there are at least 35 different areas of the brain involved in the processing of visual information. It is also estimated that at least 70% of the entire sensory information going to the brain at any one time is visual.
While 1 out of 4 normal children struggle with reading and learning because of undiagnosed vision problems, research has shown that a significantly higher percentage of children with special needs have vision problems which, when treated, can make a huge difference in their lives.
Sensory processing disorder
If your child displays any of these symptoms, an undetected, but treatable, vision problem may be contributing to their issues.