# Vision Problems => Math Troubles? Tell me more.

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I've been following a discussion elsewhere (adoption group) where there seems to be a high correlation between vision problems (requiring vision therapy) and difficulty grasping math basics. Since my daughter has both of these issues, I'm intrigued. I did notice that she was slow to get one-to-one correspondence, and she still doesn't count systematically enough to be always accurate. She also bombs anything that requires combining math reasoning with studying a picture. Place value pretty much escapes her. If I think about it, all of these could go back to the vision problem. I will ask our vision development team, but I wanted to hear what you all have observed in this regard. What are the specific weak spots in math that can be addressed with vision therapy?

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Edited by wapiti
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There are two ways (or more probably) to look at what you've described. Yes, if the input isn't coming in correctly (fuzzy, issues with convergence or focusing, whatever), you're going to have trouble doing the learning that's supposed to be based on correctly processing that visual input. That's not rocket science.

However the other way to take it, and what I think you may be getting at, is that there's a correlation between kids with low tone, overall developmental disorders, spectrum, etc. etc. and developmental vision issues. Here too you're correct and on the right track.

So yes, it's always good to get dev. vision checked, even just as a cover your butt. You don't want to be teaching over an easily correctable physical problem. There's enough to do without plowing against that.

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My daughter has had recent vision problems (double vision) and her math scores have completely bombed. She had been doing well in math until recently and now I am struggling to go over concepts that she knew before. The weird thing was that some of the ways she was trying to work the problem were so random and out of place that I couldn't even make sense of it. We are now working with C-Rods again and starting to make new progress again.

She is participating in a movement vision therapy program where she has 45 minutes of gross motor and small motor activities. She does spinning and then they do tracking, jumping jacks, balancing, ball catching, swinging (lots of swinging), And they do tracking after each one. it really is a cool program and the therapist talks a lot about how movement stimulates the eyes and how the neck muscles affect the eyes. She often does neck exercises as well, she has to lay on her stomach on a big swing and while swinging throw bean bags at pins to try to knock them down. She is also going to be starting PT to strengthen her neck per the Neurologist. At the beginning of the program she would sit with her head to the left and the last two session she is sitting with her head more straight..so I am feeling like we are making progress. It was a 10 week study specifically on movement can effect the eyes and vision. She will be evaluated and tested after the 10 weeks to see if there is a difference and if there is then we will try to get OT approved so she can continue with the program. In the past three to four weeks she has complained significantly less even though she still has the vision problem which in her case is double vision.

As far as your question, with a sudden onset of vision problems math was the only subject that really got bad and that I had to find new ways to teach. It was the only subject in which I think she lost ground in and the only subject that lead to constant tears, meltdowns and naps during the day.

I made a blog post about it here. My dd is 11.

HTH!

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That's interesting about the movement connection. I will look into this angle further. My dd clearly does better (overall) when she's involved in movement-oriented classes.

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OT and VT both work on vision but are complementary, not replacing each other. You'll also occasionally find a dev. optometrist who has a background in sports medicine and sensory who can take the therapy much farther (than a regular dev. opt.). For instance, if you remember KarenAnne from the boards, her dd go therapy with a widely regarded dev. optom. who does VT for the US Olympic Volleyball team (so much for VT being a sham, hehe, somebody better tell those Olympic athletes!). Anyways, he was able to integrate sensory and motion with the VT way beyond what most therapists ever do. They would crawl in 8's on the floor while maintaining focus on something on the wall, blah blah. So yes, there are a number of aspects to this. OT is shaking one end of the stick and a good VT shakes the other. You want to check back in with the VT and make sure everything is getting done that needs to be done. And if a dc has issues that require OT, mere paper-based therapy (that some VT's do and in fact some OTs, because it's easier than learning more hands-on methods) won't be adequate.

Btw, my ds is a kinesthetic learner, but so far his dev. vision stuff is fine. He is low tone with some sensory-seeking, but still no dev. vision problems so far. They don't necessarily go together. Vision can also change during a growth spurt. It's why you take them every year to get it checked, or at least I do.

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Thanks for bringing this up. My ds who went through VT (and probably still needs more VT) is having a lot of math issues that I haven't been able to sort out yet.

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I'm interested in this as well. DD9 has severe amblyopia and struggles with math. We did VT for awhile and it was a bust. I don't know what to do for her now.

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Thanks for bringing this up. My ds who went through VT (and probably still needs more VT) is having a lot of math issues that I haven't been able to sort out yet.

When there's stuff left after VT, it's time for evals (psych/neuropsych/ed psych) to figure out what's going on. After VT, my dd seemed to go through a period of relearning too, like she needed to see things again with her new eyes. Have you already done evals?

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I'm interested in this as well. DD9 has severe amblyopia and struggles with math. We did VT for awhile and it was a bust. I don't know what to do for her now.

Bummer. Have you had evals? Was the VT able to budge the amblyopia at all? It's humdinger for convergence, but my impression is amblyopia is much harder. Is there anything that helps her work around it that you can harness in your teaching?

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Bummer. Have you had evals? Was the VT able to budge the amblyopia at all? It's humdinger for convergence, but my impression is amblyopia is much harder. Is there anything that helps her work around it that you can harness in your teaching?

The VT did strengthen her eye but I don't feel like much else was accomplished. WIth contacts and OT for a year her coordination has gotten better along with her handwriting but something still seems "off" with her processing skills. I think I'm going to go forward with an initial eval that will test IQ and see if there are any big gaps in IQ and her instructional levels. Then we'll do a full eval if needed. We didn't catch the amblyopia until she was 6 so a lot of the schoolwork was set back from that. She's progressing faster in LA than math and I've heard that's an issue. My mom says it's normal for some kids to work at a slower pace but there shouldn't be big differences in LA/math scores. That a difference between the two could show a learning issue.

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The VT did strengthen her eye but I don't feel like much else was accomplished. WIth contacts and OT for a year her coordination has gotten better along with her handwriting but something still seems "off" with her processing skills. I think I'm going to go forward with an initial eval that will test IQ and see if there are any big gaps in IQ and her instructional levels. Then we'll do a full eval if needed. We didn't catch the amblyopia until she was 6 so a lot of the schoolwork was set back from that. She's progressing faster in LA than math and I've heard that's an issue. My mom says it's normal for some kids to work at a slower pace but there shouldn't be big differences in LA/math scores. That a difference between the two could show a learning issue.

Yes, that's when it's time to go in with the psych evals. Hopefully they'll find something for you. We waited so long unnecessarily. When you say things seem off, well turned out for us there were words for it (processing speed, etc. etc.), things that weren't because of her eyes. So hopefully they can help you sort it out, so you know what you're teaching with and what to do about it. :)

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Yes, that's when it's time to go in with the psych evals. Hopefully they'll find something for you. We waited so long unnecessarily. When you say things seem off, well turned out for us there were words for it (processing speed, etc. etc.), things that weren't because of her eyes. So hopefully they can help you sort it out, so you know what you're teaching with and what to do about it. :)

It's frustrating when you can't put a finger on it though, you know? Our ped is totally supportive of whatever I want to do but it's hard when I can't even articulate what seems "off". And it's hard to think of spending the money for the eval when I can't pinpoint what's going on other than the fact that I think she struggles more than she needs to with math specifically. She's been a puzzle for the last 2 1/2 years. We've tried VT, OT, ADHD eval, etc etc. I think it's time to go for the full eval.

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It's frustrating when you can't put a finger on it though, you know? Our ped is totally supportive of whatever I want to do but it's hard when I can't even articulate what seems "off". And it's hard to think of spending the money for the eval when I can't pinpoint what's going on other than the fact that I think she struggles more than she needs to with math specifically. She's been a puzzle for the last 2 1/2 years. We've tried VT, OT, ADHD eval, etc etc. I think it's time to go for the full eval.

Yup, I hear you. I waited way longer than necessary. The \$\$ is real. Just go for it.

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