Dr. Julie Steinhauer Reveals How Autism Masks Vision Problems
By: Vision For Life
In conjunction with World Autism Awareness Month in April 2021, Dr. Steinhauer said it is important for families to understand that behaviors of autistic individuals to cope with the sensory overload of the world around them can mask signs of a vision problem.
"Many of the behaviors of an autistic individual are attributable to both autism and vision issues. They can include a lack of eye contact, staring at spinning objects or light, side viewing and difficulty with being visually present," Dr. Steinhauer said.
According to Dr. Steinhauer said those with autism can also have problems coordinating their central and peripheral vision. "When asked to look at an object they may not be able to focus directly on it. They often scan it or look off to the side. Types of eye movement disorders and crossed eyes can be common with these individuals."
Steinhauer said many of these eye conditions can be improved with vision therapy. "Research has shown the right type of vision therapy can help individuals with autism improve eye contact and gaze, central and peripheral integration, visual attention, visual-spatial abilities, balance and posture, visual efficiency and eye tracking. It can also help with strabismus and lazy eye among other conditions."
A functional vision therapy program, like those offered at Vision For Life, can include syntonics or photo light therapy to help reprocess the information between the brain and the eyes. It can also include age-appropriate exercises to help with eye-teaming, focusing, eye movements and visual processing to enhance the brain's overall ability to control eye alignment.
"Vision therapy can significantly improve symptoms and positively impact your child's social and communicative skills. The end goal is to improve any visual challenges they may be experiencing and ultimately improve their overall happiness and wellbeing."
More details on autism and vision issues are available at Dr. Steinhauer's video at How Autism And Vision Therapy Are Related (https://www.youtube.com/
.For additional information visit https://visionforlifeworks.com.
ABOUT DR. JULIE STEINHAUER
Dr. Steinhauer, now in her 20th year of practice, is a developmental optometrist specializing in vision related learning problems, sports vision, and rehabilitative optometry. She is board certified in vision development as a Fellow of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development. Dr. Steinhauer is a member of the Illinois Optometric Association, American Optometric Association, College of Optometrists in Vision Development, Optometric Extension Program, the College of Syntonic Optometry, and the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association.