Dyslexia and vision problems have been connected for years, according to a consensus of medical professionals. However, that norm is now being challenged, thanks to the addition of new research. A small test was conducted in England, which found that there wasn’t really any association between vision problems in children, and the diagnosis of dyslexia. The findings are unique given the fact that they contradict something that has been cautiously viewed as a trend. The new research though, is incredibly helpful when it comes to delivering real information to medical professionals as they run through the process of diagnosing and treating dyslexia in children.
Alexandra L. Creavin and her team found that there wasn’t any connection between vision problems and dyslexia. As she discussed what inspired the team to put together this study, she pointed out that, “We knew the children of the ’90s study had some information that could be useful, so we decided to look at the vision test results in the dyslexic children and compare them with their peers.” This was something that was widely revered in the scientific and medical communities as a bold move, given the fact that dyslexia is something that has gone relatively unstudied over the course of the last two decades.
Specifically, the findings indicated that 80% of the children involved in the study who were dyslexic, didn’t experience any visual impairment at all. Even more impressively, of those 20% who did experience vision problems, they were vision problems that non-dyslexic children experienced. The information that was yielded through this study expands where medical professionals were left assuming a connection existed that simply did not, according to this study.
Dr. Cathy Williams, the lead author of the study pointed out that, “Some practitioners feel that vision impairments may be associated with dyslexia and should be treated. However, our study results show that the majority of dyslexic children have entirely normal vision on the tests we used. Families now might want to ask: what visual impairment is actually being treated, how is it measured, and what is the evidence that treating it will help a child with dyslexia?” As the research team put together the information, and the study came together though, it became clear that the connection that medical professionals previously thought existed, simply did not exist.
This is significant because the tests and treatment options for visual impairments, which would have theoretically impacted the dyslexia, are expensive. Typically, a few hundred dollars per treatment session. Since treating the eyes wouldn’t actually help the dyslexia, medical professionals now are forced to go back to the drawing board. However, this research and study was key in identifying these areas of opportunity so that future cases and current cases of dyslexia can be treated properly and identified properly as well.