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Over the last 30 years, Dr. Jeff Getzell has successfully treated many patients who have been diagnosed with educational disabilities such as developmental delays, cognitive delays, learning disabilities (i.e., reading, writing, math, nonverbal), emotional disabilities, and other health impairments (i.e., Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder).  

Following is a list of visual symptoms associated with educational disabilities: 

  • Poor attention to surroundings.

  • Poor attention to details when completing homework and class work.

  • Poor attention to or difficulty reading and understanding facial expressions, body language, and gestures. 

  • Difficulty identifying/labeling letters and their sounds. 

  • Difficulty identifying/labeling numbers and their associated quantities.  

  • Skipping entire words or lines when reading. 

  • Skipping objects when counting in a series. 

  • Difficulty copying from the black board, overhead projector, or books.

  • Difficulty tracing or cutting on a line. 

  • Becoming easily distracted by irrelevant information/activities.

  • Exhibiting either a delay or a lack of responses. 

  • Becoming overwhelmed by new or busy environments (i.e., sensory overload). 

  • Difficulty transitioning from one activity to the next. 

  • Inadequate judgment of depth (e.g., spilling or knocking things over). 

  • Clumsiness or awkwardness in physical activities. 

Patients with educational disabilities may not have all of the above symptoms when a vision problem is contributing to their difficulties; any of the above symptoms could signal a vision problem. Vision problems can make it even more difficult for people with educational disabilities to think and move. These individuals tend to see the world in small chunks and thus it takes them longer to organize a wide variety of information and deal with busy or dynamic environments.  

With appropriate care, which includes a wide variety of therapeutic techniques, people with autism can improve their lives dramatically. Some individuals may even be able to lead a normal lifestyle and require few, if any, modifications in their educational experiences.  

A Behavioral Vision Evaluation is a crucial step to determine the degree to which vision is contributing to an individual’s difficulties. Once the evaluation is completed, Dr. Getzell will review findings and treatment recommendations with you.   When a vision problem is underlying an educational problem, treating the vision problem can make all the difference. 

Behavioral Optometry, Ltd.

Jeffrey Getzell, OD, FCOVD, FCSO

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