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Convergence Insufficiency
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Anon_138261 posted:
My son was diagnosed with CI during routine eye exam. I had a 2nd opinion with pediatric ophthalmologist who concurred. Both docs proposed pencil pushups & were not so keen on in office computer based vision training. We do pencil pushups & they have been ineffective.
I spoke to an acquaintance who works with visually impaired children & he consulted with another pediatric specialist on my behalf, and she said based off a govt study, visual computer training had the most successful outcome, with pencil pushups and prism eyeglasses not as effective. http://www.nei.nih.gov/news/pressreleases/101308.asp


My son is 8 yrs old & in 3rd grade, failing handwriting, almost failed spelling, but does very well in reading & comprehension of reading. He complains of vague headaches, is exhausted doing homework after a full day in school. He is working with school Occupational Therapy with handwriting.

Because he probably always had this, he can't really express he is having a bad day. I know what's like to have a headache & not have a headache & how that may affect me or someone else in everyday life task. But I don't have CI or ever experienced it, so there is no I can understand how this affects his life, other than symptoms like, headaches, fatigue, rubbing eyes & again, these are things any kid can have if they are just tired or sick. I would have to imagine, continually having to re focus your eyes all day has to have some impact, plus the fact CI can be intermittent, completely go away but then come back, or flair during stress & illness.
My question really is, how much of an impact can CI have on education? Is it possible to get frequent headaches and have poor handwriting due to this? If so, how would one explain such good reading comprehension?
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Alan M Kozarsky, MD responded:
A second opinion visit to a pediatric ophthalmologist was certainly a very good idea.

It is very important to make sure that there is not an excessive amount of farsightedness which would make your son have to exert a lot of effort when working at close distances. If that possibility has been eliminated (and it probably has by virtue of two separate eye exams), the only known effective treatment of convergence insufficiency is the eye exercises which you mention.

I would be careful about attributing too many academic difficulties to convergence insufficiency. Most children do quite well adapting to their visual circumstances. Treating the CI will make your child's life easier but may not the the total answer for academic achievement.


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