Autism is a neurobiological/developmental disorder in which the patient has difficulty processing and responding to environmental input and stimuli. A child with autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, has sensory integration problems and will display a series of symptoms and developmental disabilities that are characterized by social and communication impairments and repetitive behavior.
Vision is a neurological process. It is a sense that develops as your child grows, much the same way that motor skills or speech development do. Vision is the leader of all of our senses, it is the gateway to how our brains interact with them. Most of your brain activity relies heavily on input from a properly developed visual system. Vision plays a huge roll in how we react to touch, movement and balance, all of which are key senses in ASD.
There are a few symptoms and behaviors of autism that can be directly connected to visual problems.
- Lack of eye contact
- Staring at spinning objects or light
- Fleeting peripheral glances
- Side viewing
- Difficulty maintaining visual attention
- Poor hand-eye coordination
Any of these symptoms can be linked to one or many vision problems. These include:
- An uncorrected refractive error like nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism or presbyopia
- Accommodative disorder or insufficiency
- Oculomotor dysfunction
- Binocular problems
Many behaviors of autism and ASD can be traced to visual inefficiencies and disorders. Because of this strong relationship between autism and ASD symptoms and vision developmental issues, vision therapy has played a key role in the treatment of autism and ASD.
Vision therapy can reduce the frequency or intensity of many autistic and ASD behaviors. This may give your child more balance and more freedom to be who they are. By focusing on strengthening a child’s vision and correcting errors in development, we can significantly reduce the frequency or intensity of ASD and autism visual symptoms and behaviors.