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Cotter, Susan A.*; Cyert, Lynn A.†; Miller, Joseph M.‡; Quinn, Graham E.§ for the National Expert Panel to the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health

Effect of Vergence/Accommodative Therapy on Reading in Children with Convergence Insufficiency: A Randomized Clinical Trial

publication date
January 2015
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The results of this study suggest that clinicians providing vergence/accommodative therapy for the treatment of childhood convergence insufficiency should not suggest that such treatment, on average, will lead to improvements on standardized assessments of reading performance after 16 weeks of treatment.


The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of office-based vergence/accommodative therapy on reading performance in 9- to 14-year-old children with symptomatic convergence insufficiency.


In a multicenter clinical trial, 310 children 9 to 14 years old with symptomatic convergence insufficiency were randomized in a 2:1 ratio to 16 weeks of office-based vergence/accommodative therapy or office-based placebo therapy, respectively. The primary outcome was change in reading comprehension as measured by the reading comprehension subtest of the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test, Third Edition (WIAT-III) at the 16-week outcome. Secondary reading outcomes of word identification, reading fluency, listening comprehension, comprehension of extended text, and reading comprehension were also evaluated.



The adjusted mean improvement in WIAT-III reading comprehension was 3.7 (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.6 to 4.7) standard score points in the vergence/accommodative therapy group and 3.8 (95% CI, 2.4 to 5.2) points in the placebo therapy group, with an adjusted mean group difference of −0.12 (95% CI, −1.89 to 1.66) points that was not statistically significant. No statistically significant treatment group differences were found for any of the secondary reading outcome measures.


For children aged 9 to 14 years with symptomatic convergence insufficiency, office-based vergence/accommodative therapy was no more effective than office-based placebo therapy for improving reading performance on standardized reading tests after 16 weeks of treatment.


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.

When we first came to the practice, my son did not have huge issues, but lots of small ones- trouble with reading, sports (hitting the baseball consistently), coordination, etc- that were not easily detectable,but when put together presented issues. The staff here were all very professional and loving towards him. While I was concerned in the reading, my son was concerned with the athletic side. Seeing improvement night off the bat gave him confidence that i have nor seen in him and made him want to not only Come to therapy, but also made him want to work hard. He has surpassed his grade level and above in reading and hit his first home run this year! Thank you!!!

Alice M.
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