Dr. Eric Borsting and colleagues are still investigating the diagnosis, treatment and consequences of convergence insufficiency. The most current research from the Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trial (CITT) which was presented at COVD’s annual meeting considers the behavioral and emotional problems associated with convergence insufficiency (CI).
Fifty-three children with symptomatic CI were enrolled in the study. For each child, the parents completed the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and the teachers completed the Connors 3 ADHD Index. The children were then enrolled in office-based vision therapy programs, and 44 of them completed 16 weeks of treatment. The parents and teachers then completed the surveys again.
When scores at baseline (pre-therapy) were compared to normative data, the children with CI had more symptoms on both surveys. On the Connors 3 ADHD Index, the symptoms most frequently reported by teachers were inattentiveness, distractability and giving up easily. On the CBCL, the symptoms most frequently reported by parents were somatic, such as headaches and eye discomfort. Children with CI exhibited more symptoms and behaviors associated with ADHD than children with no visual problems. Following vision therapy, the children showed significant improvement on both scales. Treatment of convergence insufficiency resulted in a reduction in the behavioral and emotional problems reported by both parents and teachers.
Here’s the take-home message: if your child has been diagnosed with ADHD or exhibits many of the behaviors associated with ADHD, your child needs a comprehensive vision examination. If vision deficits are revealed, then vision therapy might be the most appropriate treatment option. This study is another contribution to evidence documenting the power of vision therapy in the treatment of learning-related vision problems.