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Vision Problems


Please note: Being listed here is not per se an endorsement of any particular site or email list. I have included annotations for those sites or lists that I am familiar with and strongly recommend.


Some children have problems with tracking, convergence, etc. - in other words, their eyes don't work together smoothly.  These problems cannot be detected by the typical exam using an eye-chart, since they are not problems of acuity. To diagnose these problems, the child must be examined by a developmental optometrist.  Dr. Nancy Torgerson, FCOVD, has a checklist of symptoms that suggest the need for a comprehensive eye exam at http://www.alderwoodvisiontherapy.com/vision_quiz.html#checklist

To read a great discussion of how vision problems affect reading, with pictorial examples, go to this article "Vision and Reading".  Be sure to read both pages.


Visiontherapy.org has many useful links

The College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) serves as the certifying body for Doctors in Optometric Behavioral - Developmental Optometry.

Irlen Syndrome/Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome (SSS) is a controversial diagnosis. Children with Irlen Syndrome find reading easier when they use colored overlays. To learn more about this, go to

Email lists

BVI-Parents is a list for parents of blind or visually-impaired children

Ocular Motor Apraxia is a medical condition where a person has difficulty in controlling horizontal eye movements.  There's an email list on the topic at

                               Books on Vision Problems

The Light Barrier: A Color Solution to Your Child's Light-Based Reading Difficulties by Rhonda Stone and Robert Dobrin. St. Martin's Press.  A mother's personal account of discovering her daughter's Irlen Syndrome (Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome).


Overwhelmed by all the terminology and abbreviations? In addition to the acronyms page at this site, there's an excellent Dictionary for Parents of Children with Disabilities (in PDF format, you need Adobe Acrobat to read it) at http://www.usd.edu/cd/dictionary/.  It is also available as a website (but may take a long time to load) at http://www.usd.edu/cd/dictionary/dictionary.htm
There's a shorter "Glossary and Guide to Acronyms" (also in PDF) by Leslie Packer, Ph.D., at http://www.tourettesyndrome.net/Files/Conditions/Glossary2002.pdf
Another dictionary can be found at http://www.feat.org/legal/speddict.htm and another list of acronyms at http://www.feat.org/legal/terms.html

Last updated Tuesday March 29, 2005

"Children require guidance and sympathy far more than instruction."
       ~ Anne Sullivan (Helen Keller's Teacher)

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