Experts commonly observe vision problems among children and adults with autism spectrum disorder. However, signs of these visual dysfunctions are often concealed by behaviors that autistic individuals use to feel less overwhelmed by various visual stimuli.
In this article, your local eye doctor and vision expert, Nova Vision Center, discusses some of the visual dysfunctions commonly observed in individuals on the autism spectrum.
Vision and Autism
Some of the behaviors often attributed to autism are difficulty making eye contact, side viewing, fleeting peripheral glances and staring at spinning objects or light.
These are often due to the challenges that autistic patients have in one or more of the binocular visual areas, namely:
- Ocular motility or eye tracking
- Vergence or eye coordination and eye alignment
- Accommodation or eye focusing
- Visual motor guidance
- Visual information processing and visual perception
It’s best to undergo a vision examination with a behavioral optometrist to assess these various areas so that the proper treatment can be provided as early as possible.
Treating Visual Dysfunctions Related to Autism
These vision problems have an effect on an autistic individual’s quality of life. Depending on the needs of the patient, the goals and the specific treatments may vary. Some of the treatment options are corrective lenses and prisms, vision therapy and yoked prism.
Typically, these treatments are aimed at helping autistic individuals organize visual space, gain peripheral stability, improve visual information processing and gain more efficient eye coordination. Lenses are often used to compensate for astigmatism, nearsightedness and farsightedness. Meanwhile, vision therapy activities usually involve stimulating eye movements and the central visual system.
Nova Vision Center offers their expertise in various areas including comprehensive vision exams, developmental optometry and specialty contact lenses. Our doctors are also trained in working with patients who are recovering from injury. Call us at (703) 291-0080 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve customers in Alexandria and Arlington, VA.