Does my Child Have Dyslexia?

Published on
April 20, 2022

Dyslexia is a learning disability that most of us are familiar with, and it causes difficulties in areas such as reading and spelling. A key point to remember is that dyslexia is an issue with how the brain is processing information, not an issue with the eyes. If someone has dyslexia, it should be diagnosed by someone who performs cognitive testing, such as an educational psychologist. Dyslexia is a condition that varies greatly in severity and can be classified as multiple types. Simply put, dyslexia is a problem with matching visual and auditory signals, also known as decoding.

What are the symptoms of dyslexia?

There are several symptoms of dyslexia, and their presentation can vary depending on a child’s age. 

Symptoms in very young children

  • Delayed speech
  • other speech issues (such as having difficulty pronouncing long words or jumbling up words or phrases)

Once a child with dyslexia reaches school age, you are likely to see them having 

  • Difficulty learning specific sounds and letters
  • They will confuse the order of letters in words while reading, writing, and speaking
  • Complaints of headaches or dizziness while reading
  • Difficulty with reading comprehension 
  • Difficulty with visualizing things based on what they have read

Many of these symptoms are similar to those seen with certain eye issues, but with dyslexia the eyes are not at fault.

What are some examples of when a vision issue can mimic dyslexia?

  • Problems with laterality or directionality: Children until the first grade may have trouble differentiating right and left (laterality). Children often reverse letters or numbers when they write them, and hold their hands in an "L" shape to determine which is left and which is right. 

Visual Fatigue: Visual fatigue is also a symptom of dyslexia. The condition can be caused by intermittent strabismus and convergence insufficiency, which are extremely common eye conditions. Fatigue in these cases is caused by the effort required to keep their eyes on the task at hand.


Poor Control of Eye Movements: Just like dyslexia, some vision issues can lead to reading difficulties. For people with vision issues, this is due to a problem with eye movements. It is also possible for children with this problem to miss small words like "the" and "it.". Patients with dyslexia are thought to skip these words as they have trouble visualizing them.


Why should you get an eye exam if you are experiencing symptoms of dyslexia?

There can be many similarities between dyslexia and an underlying vision problem, so it is important to have your vision checked as well to rule out any functional or learning-related vision problems. Not all optometrists do developmental eye exams, so visiting a doctor who specializes is necessary in order to determine if the symptoms are vision related, dyslexia related or a combination of the two. Treatment of dyslexia through vision therapy is not going to resolve dyslexia, however if there are even small underlying vision problems then it would benefit them by improving their reading skills in a classroom or other academic environment. 


Call our office today at (423) 710 3965 to schedule a developmental eye exam.


  • Vision therapy is well worth the response, time and effort. Our Son had a hard time focusing and writing neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time if previously took. His abilities to focus improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

    Also, he was better at listening. As a parent, we wanted learning to be fun for our Son, and vision therapy made this possible.

    Amanda T.

  • Vision Therapy is well worth the expense, time and effort. Our son had a hard time focusing handwriting neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time it previously took his abilities to focus and improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

    Also, he was better at listening. As a parent you wanted learning to be fun for our son and vision therapy made this possible.

    Alexa H.

  • Vision Therapy has given or son the tools he needs to be able to scan and read the written word more effectively and efficiently.

    He love working with John and these working sessions give him the motivation to gladly work on his homework assignments.

    It amazed us to see the difference in the tracking of his eyes and along a line of it's from the beginning to the end of the treatment.

    Dr. McBryar , Kristen and John  are all marvelous and we would recommend them to anyone I only wish that we would have found them sooner!

    Charlotte M.

  • Prior to coming to the institute for vision development my son complained of daily headaches. Therapy has eliminated his headaches completely. I love knowing my son is able to learn pain-free for the rest of his life because of the work that has been done over just a few weeks in this office. He he absolutely loved coming that didn't even feel like going to a doctor or therapy. We are grateful for the relief he was able to find by coming here.

    Thank you!

    Olivia C.

  • Seems much less frustrated with life

    Reads non-stop and fast

    Spelling abilities have been hugely improved

    Seems much more confident

    Thank You!!!

    Kelly O.



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