Functional Performance Problems

An Overview

A binocular problem of recent onset tends to make a person uncomfortable at certain distances and while doing certain tasks. In the early stages, a binocular problem may affect the comfort, effort, and duration over which a person can work visually at a given distance or task. If the issues of visual comfort, effort, or endurance become excessive and long-term, a patient may develop compensations to address these issues.

If the visual act of reading is uncomfortable, a person could simply prefer to stop reading. This can result in reading problems developing due to a lower volume of reading.

Visual Performance Problems

It is also possible that patient may not be able to multi-task and keep all aspects of their vision working simultaneously. A patient might prefer to eliminate either blurred vision OR double vision. The area of lesser emphasis may develop issues of speed, endurance, accuracy, or agility. These become "visual performance problems."

Visual Attention Problems

A patient may learn to ignore visual information that is inconsistent. These become "visual attention problems."

Visual Intelligence Problems

A patient may learn to concentrate on the sensory systems that are working well… taste, touch, or hearing… and not develop advanced skills in vision. These patients may never develop "high visual intelligence".

Go over the following checklist and see if any of the following applies to your child:

  • Blur when looking up close
  • Headaches when looking up close
  • Falls asleep when reading
  • Writes uphill or downhill
  • Poor reading comprehension
  • Holds reading material very close
  • Clumsy/knocks things over
  • Homework takes "forever"
  • Low IQ "processing speed"
  • Reverses b/d and p/q
  • Smart in everything but school
  • Double vision when reading
  • Words run together when reading
  • Skips/repeats lines when reading
  • Tilts head/close one eye when reading
  • Omits small words when reading
  • Avoids sports or games
  • Labeled "lazy," "slow," "ADD," or "dyslexic"
  • Reverses was/saw, on/no, or 12/21
  • Poor handwriting
  • Struggles with reading/writing, better at math/science
  • Low IQ "Perceptual Reasoning"

If your child is experiencing more than one of these problems, your child could have a Functional Performance Vision problem.

"Ben began vision therapy in 4th grade. Although Ben enjoyed being read to – he said he “hated” reading. He was obviously uncomfortable while reading – he fidgeted & squirmed, rubbed his eyes, his eyes watered & he began complaining of headaches.

I was concerned that his trouble /dislike of reading was going to affect his academic success. Although we attend an alternative/”hands-on” school, by 4th grade the children were expected to read direction, enjoy novels & research projects. I wanted him to enjoy reading.

After 6 months of vision therapy Ben’s enjoyment of and confidence in, reading improved significantly. He jumped from a 2nd grade level to a 7th grade level. When Ben heard the results he said, "I think I can go to college now…" I had no idea he had even doubted his ability. Ben now loves to read and is confident at school."

- Ben’s Mom

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