ADHD - Eye care services College Station TX
Apex Vision

ADHD

ADHD and vision are intimately related…some vision problems can masquerade as ADHD.  Becoming diagnosed with certain binocular vision disorders can increase your child’s risk of developing ADHD.

child not paying attention in class

ADHD or Vision Disorder?

Some Vision Disorders Masquerade as ADHD

Has your child been diagnosed with ADHD, but you’re not sure that’s what’s really going on?  Your gut may be right.  It’s not uncommon for children with binocular vision, focusing, or oculomotor dysfunctions to be misdiagnosed with ADHD.  The reason it’s so easy to misdiagnose them is because these vision disorders share 15 of the 18 signs used to diagnose ADHD.  These vision disorders make it uncomfortable or difficult to perform near tasks like reading.  As a result, they take an excessive amount of breaks, they act out, become agitated, avoid reading, homework takes forever, and the whole family suffers because all of the parents’ attention is focused on the struggling child.  These vision disorders are not normally diagnosed by a general optometrist or ophthalmologist who solely focus on visual acuity and eye health, and they definitely won’t be detected by a school nurse or pediatrician.  If you are concerned that your child may have been misdiagnosed with ADHD, you need to see a developmental optometrist like Dr. Lisa Januskey, OD.  The good news is that if it is a vision disorder, it can be treated with vision therapy.

Symptom Associated with Inattention*
ADHD (DSM-IV)
Vision Disorder
Normal Child under 7
Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes
Often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities
Often does not listen when spoken to directly
Often does not follow through on instructions or fails to finish work
Often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
Often avoids, dislikes or is reluctant to engage in tasks requiring sustained mental effort
Often loses things
Often distracted by extraneous stimuli
Often forgetful in daily activities
* Six or more symptoms must be present for more than 6 months in 2 or more environments. If the child is reading, it is the same environment no matter where the child is.
DSM-IV: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 4th Edition
Symptom Associated with Hyperactivity and Impulsivity*
ADHD (DSM-IV)
Vision Disorder
Normal Child under 7
Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat
Often has difficulty remaining seated when required to do so
Often runs or climbs excessively
Often has difficulty playing quietly
Often “on the go”
Often talks excessively
Often blurts out answers to questions before they have been completed
Often has difficulty awaiting turn
Often interrupts or intrudes on others
* Six or more symptoms must be present for more than 6 months in 2 or more environments. If the child is reading, it is the same environment no matter where the child is.
DSM-IV: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: 4th Edition

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