By: Dr. Amber Teten – Optometrist Chesapeake VA
As an Optometrist Chesapeake VA specializing in vision therapy, Dr. Teten often sees children struggling with attention deficit disorders. These neurodevelopmental conditions can impact a child’s ability to regulate attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. This can be incredibly challenging for parents and caregivers, especially when helping children complete their homework. Dr. Teten, an Optometrist Chesapeake VA, will explore how vision therapy can help children with attention deficit disorders and share some tips for parents and caregivers to make homework time more successful.
What are Attention Deficit Disorders?
Before we dive into how vision therapy can help, let’s take a closer look at what attention deficit disorders are. Attention deficit disorders (ADD) are a group of neurodevelopmental disorders that affect a child’s ability to focus, stay organized, and control their behavior. These disorders are often diagnosed during childhood and can significantly impact a child’s academic and social success.
There are three main types of attention deficit disorders: inattentive, hyperactive-impulsive, and combined. The inattentive type is characterized by difficulty paying attention, forgetfulness, and disorganization. Hyperactive-impulsive type is characterized by hyperactivity, impulsivity, and difficulty with self-control. Combined type is a combination of both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive symptoms.
ADD (attention deficit disorder), and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) affects a child’s ability to focus, learn, and control their impulses. Children with ADD may struggle to pay attention to tasks for long periods. At the same time, children with ADHD may also exhibit hyperactive and impulsive behaviors. These conditions can make it challenging for children to succeed in school, social situations, and other aspects of their lives.
The Crazy Homework Night Sessions
One scenario where attention deficit disorders can be particularly challenging is homework time. As an Optometrist Chesapeake VA who works with families, Dr. Teten has heard of many examples of “crazy homework night sessions.” If you have experienced one of these with your children, you already know how this will be explained. This is when a child and their parent sit down to tackle a long list of homework assignments. Still, the child becomes increasingly distracted, fidgety, and unable to focus. The parent becomes frustrated, feeling like they must constantly redirect their child’s attention and help them stay on task. This cycle can repeat itself night after night, causing stress and strain for the child and their family.
How Vision Therapy Can Help
While vision therapy may not be the first thing that comes to mind when treating attention deficit disorders, it can be a highly effective solution. That’s because vision is a complex process that involves much more than just seeing clearly. In fact, vision consists of various skills such as eye movement control, focusing ability, and visual perception that all work together to help us make sense of the world around us.
Dr. Teten, Optometrist Chesapeake VA, targets these specific skills through her individualized vision therapy sessions which helps children improve through exercises and activities. For example, we may use exercises to improve eye-tracking abilities or games that require the child to focus on a specific object while ignoring environmental distractions. By working on these skills, we can help children develop stronger visual processing abilities, which can help them better regulate their attention and stay focused.
But the benefits of vision therapy continue beyond there. In addition to helping children with attention deficit disorders improve their ability to focus and learn, vision therapy can also positively impact other areas of their lives. For example, improving visual perception skills can help children better understand and interpret the world, increasing confidence and self-esteem. And because vision is closely tied to movement and balance, vision therapy can help children improve their coordination and sports performance.
Tips for Making Homework Time More Successful
While vision therapy can be an effective tool for helping children with attention deficit disorders, there are also some practical strategies that parents and caregivers can use to make homework time more successful. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Create a designated homework space: Designate a specific area of your home as the homework space, and make sure it’s free from distractions like TV or toys. This can help your child focus and stay on task.
Break tasks into smaller chunks: Instead of overwhelming your child with a long list of tasks, break them into smaller, more manageable chunks. This can help your child feel less overwhelmed and more motivated to complete the tasks.
Provide frequent breaks: Children with attention deficit disorders may have difficulty sitting still for long periods. To help them stay focused, provide frequent breaks where they can move around or engage in physical activity.
Use visual aids: For some children, visual aids like charts or diagrams can help them understand concepts and complete tasks. Work with your child’s teacher to determine what visual aids might be helpful.
By implementing these tips with vision therapy, parents and caregivers can help their children with attention deficit disorders succeed in school and beyond.
Attention deficit disorders can be challenging and frustrating for children and their families. But with the help of vision therapy, we can improve a child’s ability to focus, learn, and thrive. By addressing the underlying visual processing skills often compromised in children with attention deficit disorders, we can help them overcome these challenges and reach their full potential. So if you’re struggling with a crazy homework night or just looking for ways to help your child succeed, consider trying vision therapy at Navigation Eye Care.
If you have a child that has an attention deficit disorder, your child may benefit from vision therapy. Have your child evaluated by a qualified Optometrist Chesapeake VA specializing in vision therapy to determine how your child could benefit from vision therapy. Dr. Teten encourages parents to bring their children in for regular eye and developmental vision exams to ensure their eyes are healthy and their vision is properly developing. Call the Navigation Eye Care team at 757-529-6889 or schedule an appointment online. We are fully equipped and prepared to care for you and your family.