Not Autistic or Hyperactive, She was just seeing double at times

by Dr. Janet

in Attention Deficit Disorder,Convergence insufficiency,Vision Therapy

New York Times recently wrote an article about a child who was misdiagnosed with Autism/ADHD, when in fact she had a Convergence Insufficiency. This disorder is one of the easiest binocular disorders to treat with Vision Therapy.

As an infant, Raea Gragg was withdrawn and could not make eye contact. By preschool she needed to smell and squeeze every object she saw.

Raea Gragg, 9, needed therapy to help her eyes work together.

Thor Swift for The New York Times

“She touched faces and would bring everything to mouth,” said her mother, Kara Gragg, of Lafayette, Calif. “She would go up to people, sniff them and touch their cheeks.”

Specialists conducted a battery of tests. The possible diagnoses mounted: autism spectrum disorder, neurofibromatosis, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety disorder.

A behavioral pediatrician prescribed three drugs for attention deficit and depression. The only constant was that Raea, now 9, did anything she could to avoid reading and writing.

Though she had already had two eye exams, finding her vision was 20/20, this year a school reading specialist suggested another. And this time the optometrist did what no one else had: he put his finger on Raea’s nose and moved it in and out. Her eyes jumped all over the place.

Within minutes he had the diagnosis: convergence insufficiency, in which the patient sees double because the eyes cannot work together at close range.

Experts estimate that 5 percent of school-age children have convergence insufficiency. They can suffer headaches, dizziness and nausea, which can lead to irritability, low self-esteem and inability to concentrate.

Read more at NY TImes

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