Choosing Wisely:

Don’t recommend vision therapy for patients with dyslexia.

Rationale and Comments: Dyslexia is a language-based learning disorder in which a person has trouble understanding written words. This occurs because the brain has a problem distinguishing and separating the sounds in spoken words, called a phonological deficit. Dyslexia is not due to a vision disorder. Children with dyslexia do not have any more visual problems than children without dyslexia. Vision therapy does not work for this population because the eyes are not the problem.
Sponsoring Organizations:
  • American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus
  • Sources:
  • AAO/AAPOS/AACO guidelines
  • Disciplines:
  • Pediatric
  • Ophthalmologic
  • References: • Shaywitz SE. Overcoming dyslexia: a new and complete science-based program for overcoming reading problems at any level. New York, NY: Knopf; 2003.
    • Jennings AJ. Behavioural optometry—a critical review. Optom Pract. 2000;1:67-78.
    • Barrett B. A critical evaluation of the evidence supporting the practice of behavioural vision therapy. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 2009;29:4-25.
    • Fletcher JM, Currie D. Vision efficiency interventions and reading disability. Perspectives on Language and Literacy. 2011;37:21-4.
    • Handler SM, Fierson WM; Section on Ophthalmology and Council on Children with Disabilities, American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, American Association of Certified Orthoptists. Joint technical report—learning disabilities, dyslexia, and vision. Pediatrics. 2011;127:e818-56. Available at: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/127/3/e818.full.pdf+html

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