Monday, May 25, 2009

British research says a third of children with dyslexia may have treatable eye condition

From The Telegraph in the UK:

Up to a third of children diagnosed with dyslexia could be suffering from a treatable eye condition, according to research.

They may have a common vision disorder that impairs sight at close range, making it harder for children to read, it was claimed.

The conclusions, in a study by Robin Pauc, an author and researcher, comes amid continuing debate over dyslexia.

Gene mutations that may lead to autism identified by scientistsUp to six million people in Britain are believed to suffer from the brain condition that disrupts reading and writing. Many children are eligible for extra help in the classroom and more time to complete exams after being diagnosed.

But some experts say it does not exist, claiming it has little scientific basis. Earlier this year, a Labour MP sparked controversy by claiming dyslexia was a myth invented by educationalists to cover up poor teaching.

In the latest study, Dr Pauc, who runs the Tinsley House Clinic, a unit for children with learning and behavioural problems in Hampshire, examined 100 young people with various conditions, including dyslexia and Tourette's syndrome, and found 57 per cent suffered from "convergence insufficiency". This is a common two-eyed vision disorder in which the eyes do not work well at close range. He said that, based on his research and previous studies, the number of dyslexic children with the sight failure was nearer 30 per cent.

Dr Pauc, author of the books Is That My Child? and The Brain Food Plan, said it could be treated with a computer program that challenged the eyes to work properly using 3D pictures.