Any of You Used Vision Therapy for ADHD

Updated on October 27, 2009
J.H. asks from Georgetown, KY
9 answers

Hi-My 7 yr. old son has ADHD. He is very behind his second grade class. He has only seem to get worse this year. He has problems reading and now almost refuses to read because you thinks he can't. I have recently came across Vision Therapy to help with reading/writing. It's hard to explain but basically games that helps train the eyes to work together. After examination the dr. said he doesn't even need the glasses he has that his vision is perfect but needs the therapy. Where your eyes are supposed to work together his don't. That explaination is very vague and there is much more involoved. But was wondering if any of you have used this and the results. It is going to involve a lot of time and money. We are in KY and there are only 3 dr. in KY that does this. We are going to the one in Versailles, KY. Also, this is not to cure ADHD just to help the child get a graspe.

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answers from Jacksonville on

I don't know if visual perception therapy will help with ADHD or not. I do know that visual perception therapy works. My son(who is now 25 and a submariner in the Navy) was not "diagnosed" with ADHD. However, when he was in first grade, his teachers told me he "didn't want to learn to read"; that he started goofing around, etc., during reading time. However, he would sit in his room at night and cry, saying "I'm so stupid". A chiropractor friend suggested he might have a visual perception problem, and suggested a specialist in Washington, DC. My son's problem was pretty severe - the specialist told me "I'm not surprised this child is having trouble learning to read. I'm surprised this child can read at all." Basically, his left eye just wasn't seeing letters, and sometimes whole words, so nothing was making sense. When he couldn't handle the frustration, he would start talking or goofing around. It took several blocks of therapy to help my son, but it is definitely money I would have spent time and time again. (If the doctor you are seeing is far away, ask if he can set you up with a home therapy program. After 2 blocks of therapy, we had to move to an area where there was no one who did this, and our doctor set up up with a program that I could do with my son at home.) Once my son's visual perception problems were addressed, his behavior issues in school disappeared, and he became an honor roll student. I don't know if this might happen with your son, but wouldn't it be wonderful if it did!

There are many natural supplements that can help children with ADHD. There is a specialist (Dr. Mary Ann Block) in this field who believes that a very high percentage of ADHD cases can be reversed with changes in diet. She became a doctor because of problems with her own child and she worked with children who no one else could help. She wrote a book called "No More Ritalin" and I believe it's a must read for parents of a child diagnosed with ADHD. It's a real eye-opener. You can purchase it from Amazon for less than $10. God bless you in your journey to help your son.

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answers from Raleigh on

Has your son been tested for a learning disability in reading or writing? If he is behind, his school should do this. Write a letter to the principal requesting testing, that will help speed the process along. If he does have a learning disability, they should give him extra help at school with the special education teacher. Kids with learning disabilities in this area need a VERY specific kind of instruction depending on what their reading problems are. Usually this is called "direct, multisensory instruction in phonics" There are a couple of approaches or programs like Orton Gillingham, Wilson, or Lindamood Bell that have been shown to be VERY effective for helping kids with these issues. About 50% of kids with ADHD also have some kind of learning disability - it just has to do with how the brain processes information. There are tutors in the community who will also do this tutoring.

Vision therapy is not found to be effective for children with learning disabilities - it may help kids who honestly have eye tracking or eye convergence problems, but more times than not there is also a learning disability underlying the problem and the vision therapy won't help with that. Vision therapy can be very expensive and I've had a lot of parents tell me they feel like they wasted their money (I'm a psychologist who tests kids for learning disabilities and ADHD). And, there is absolutely no research suggesting vision therapy helps ADHD.

This is a great reference about children and reading:

Also, if you'd like more info on testing for LD and/or behavioral treatments for ADHD, just message me. Hope this helps!

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answers from Lexington on

I do not know about the vision therapy that you are talking about. However, 5 years ago we took our 11 year old son to the Sensory Learning Center. He received light, motion, and music therapy. It is a 30 day process. There is a Sensory Learning Center in London, KY. Our son was diagnosed with Autism when he was 2. I do believe that he benefitted from this therapy. Going through the therapy the children exhibit unusual behavior, but after the 30 days are son has shown improvement. This therapy has also been shown to be beneficial for other children - not just children with Autism. We have been considering taking our 7 year old.

Hopefully, someone who has used vision therapy will respond with their thoughts. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on




answers from Knoxville on

I have a friend whose daughter used vision therapy. She too struggled with reading and hated reading because it was so difficult. She also was diagnosed ADHD and was on medication for a long time until someone suggested the vision therapy. This all started in 1st grade with her struggling to read. So they did lots of tutoring for reading. The vision therapy didn't take place till 5th grade. It was a godsend. Her daughter now loves to read, and can't get enough. They have even taken her off the medicine. I know my friend wishes she knew about the vision therapy much earlier. So I would highly recommend it, if you are being told that is what he needs. It certainly won't hurt, and reading is so important in being successful in school. I would certainly give it a try. Good luck.



answers from Jackson on

I am not too familar with vision therapy, but I have used other vision aids with my students that have reading difficulties and learning disabilities. The title of the book is Reading By the Colors by Helen Irlen. It shows that some children respnd better with reading when a colored overlay was put on top of the page. I believe there are 6 colors and you test the child to see which one he responds best to. Once I found the color that worked for the child I also printed class work on colored paper that matched the colored overlay. I saw great improvements. I don't know if you child's teacher is willing to go that extra mile, but you might do a little research into it. I had great success with it. Here are two books...the first I have used...the second I have heard about.



answers from Raleigh on

My son is highly functional autistic and he also had this problem where his eyes did not work together. Vision therapy did help. It improved his reading ability. He still struggles with abstract concepts, but that has nothing to do with his eyes working together.

I think getting his eyes to work together will not cure your son's ADHD, but it will remove another stressor in his life and improve his reading ability and thereby not exacerbate his ADHD symptoms.

When we did vision therapy, they had us do exercises at home. I always thought, if you were consistent and actually did them, you could do all the vision therapy at home yourself. I googled for - vision therapy at home - and found this $25 book that might be helpful

You might want to google and look for other resources for vision therapy at home.

Good luck.



answers from Memphis on

Do not waste your money on this therapy. If your child likes video games with a lot of action that should work out just fine. My grandson has ADHD. He is 8 years old & in the 3rd grade. He reads on a 6th grade level because over the years he has had very good teachers to teach him how to breakdown each word by syllables. It also took a lot of books/flash cards/educational games and videos as presents for christmas. We also took out time to read with him at least 30 minutes per day at home after school. Getting involved with your child is very important and can save you tons of money. Maybe the 10yr old can help by getting involved with the video games.



answers from Greensboro on

J., I'm a mother of 12 who has been homeschooling since 1979. I have an autistic son, two son's with learning disability and a daughter with lazy-butt-itus! (There is no cure but sometimes they outgrow it.)

One of the reasons your son has done worse in the second grade is because the books change from first to second grade. First grade books have larger print, clearer fonts and the words are separate from the pictures. Second grade books have the words on the same page and are smaller. This clutters the brain. Some childrens' eyes develop faster than others and they do better as the books evolve. Having him read first grade books at home is one way you can encourage him to succeed while you learn how to do the therapy at home. A love for learning is what should be the first priority of education....not passing tests or filling in the blanks.

It's not rocket science and I believe you are capable to help him without making him a nut with extra work when little boys need to be playing hard in the sunshine more they need book 'learning'. His body will line up much on it's own but there are things you can do at home without making it a medical or 'special needs' situation. The system is set up to spend an awful lot of money on these special needs and I'd hate to see your child get pigeon-holed, so to speak, into that category if he doesn't have to. The people out there 'helping' often have financial gain to motivate them. I've been tutoring children since the Carter Administration and the vast majority of the parents that bring their children with learning problems and speech problems and even social problems to me can learn how to teach their children.'s not for cowards. You sound like a brave lady who loves your family. Hope I can help.

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