The Behavioral Side of Visual Disorders

Visual or perceptual skill deficiencies can manifest in a multitude of ways. First and foremost, they are most discernible in the ability to use our eyes together effectively. Altering what we see and how we see it. This is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Visual disorders seldom start and stop with the eyes.

The Behavioral Side of Visual Disorders in Hixson

Amplify Eyecare Chattanooga

It’s only affecting my eyes, right?

The truth is visual disorders rarely affect only what we see and how we see it. Vision is the first stop on this train but is by far not the last. Taking in visual information effectively is key but then there is a perceptual element to it as well. We are sensory beings and there’s hardly a moment the brain is not intaking, perceiving, and processing information. Life is perception afterall. If we take a moment to think it through we can come to an understanding that how we see things may alter parts of our personality.

Let’s try a thought experiment to solidify our point. Consider a child who has double vision at his near point. He can’t use his eyes together effectively to read his schoolwork or do any nearpoint work for that matter. What do you think the likely outcome would be behaviorally?

With his inability to do any near point work with proper fusion, most likely garnering headaches, as well as frustration, he will most likely form a maladaptive behavior such as inattentiveness or other aversive behaviors. If he can’t read, why should he try? These maladaptive behaviors, like a snowball rolling downhill, will lend themselves to the further reinforcement of the behavior as well as the genesis of new, complementary ones or maladaptive behaviors that feed off of one another. 

How Far Does The Rabbit Hole Go?

It’s hard to quantify the exact extent to which visual disorders can affect us but it’s commonplace to accept that these effects can be felt throughout our whole being.

Visual data is about 80% of the sensory information we receive in the brain. If we analyze that a little closer we can infer that 80% of our sense perception is through our eyes. If there is a disconnect or deficiency in this pathway it can be the origin of psychological and behavioral issues.

The perceptual element, or understanding what we’re seeing, is the next crucial step in this process. If we aren’t taking in the visual data appropriately, and we aren’t processing it in our brain effectively, you can start to imagine the implications in our daily lives. The danger in this is a disorder left undiagnosed or unaddressed. If a child suffers from a visual disorder it can interrupt many important psychological and behavioral aspects from identity formation, self-esteem issues, emotional regulation, to hyperactivity.

Unfortunately, the list of psychological repercussions is vast which helps show the importance of addressing these issues early rather than fighting against years of conditioned maladaptive behaviors later in life. 

How Far Does The Rabbit Hole Go?
Dr. McBryar cartoon

What Can I Do if My Child Has Behavioral and Visual Issues?

This is a good question to ask. Once we have the awareness that our child needs help, we can act on it by seeking the proper channels for care. Behavioral Optometrists and Vision Therapists are skilled in this very field. A lot of FCOVDs and Therapists have crossover training and exposure to the psychological sciences. The direct approach is two-fold: Treat the eyes and brain, and treat the person. To have an effective treatment we must not solely address the eyes. Patients are more than their eyes and they come in with the behaviors and feelings associated with their issues. At Amplify EyeCare Chattanooga we look past the readily discernible visual disorders and look to understand and course correct the maladaptive behaviors that originated with the visual disorder. That’s not to say we are Psychologists or that Vision Therapy is the cure-all for psychological disorders. Sometimes, outside of Vision Therapy, additional professional help is needed but rest assured on the inside of vision therapy, we are looking to help in any way we can, including the behavioral side of the coin.                

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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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