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Get Ahead Kids® Feature Article
Get Ahead Kids - Vol. 6, No. 2 - March/April 2014

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Clumsiness & Visual Perception Difficulties

By Dr. Joan Brien

If your child is clumsy, he or she may have a problem with their visual perception. This can be reflected in difficulties getting on and off escalators, bumping into the corners of tables, into door jams or 'falling over their own feet'.

Often parents will get their child's vision tested by an optometrist, it may not be a vision problem but a visual processing difficulty. Sometimes clumsy children may also have an unexplained reading difficulty.

Many children who are considered to be clumsy by their parents may actually have Irlen Syndrome, which is a visual processing dysfunction. Not everyone who has Irlen Syndrome is clumsy. It is only a small percentage of sufferers who appear to have depth perception problems, but these are corrected by the use of Irlen Spectral Filters that are worn as glasses. The
Filters are specifically tinted to each individual's needs.

Some children cannot catch a ball on the full, or they have difficulty hitting a ball in cricket, or being able to play other ball games. They often do not even want to try to play these sports and parents are often at a loss as to know why.

This is usually because they have poor depth perception, resulting in objects appearing to be either closer or further away than they actually are.
Irlen Syndrome is not detected by optometrists or other professionals. The only way of determining if you or your child has Irlen Syndrome is to be assessed by a certified Irlen Diagnostician who is trained to look for the symptoms.

Even if your child is found by an optometrist to have a vision problem, it does not necessarily mean that they do not have a visual perception problem as well. Vision correction glasses do not correct Irlen Syndrome, but they can be tinted if your child is found to have Irlen Syndrome.

Other indicators of Irlen Syndrome are light sensitivity, headaches, migraines, general learning difficulties, dyslexia, reluctance to read, and a difficulty in concentrating in class.

If your child is having unexplained learning difficulties and/or is unable to catch a ball on the full, get on and off escalators easily or seems to be clumsy, then consider having them assessed for Irlen Syndrome.

Checklist

  • Unexplained clumsiness
  • Difficulty with ball games
  • Learning difficulties
  • Light sensitivity
  • Headaches
  • Dyslexia

More Information

Dr. Joan Brien
Certified Irlen Diagnostician
Irlen Diagnostic Clinic
Suite 3/136 Nelson St.
Wallsend NSW 2287
P: 02 4955 6904
F: 02 4965 6894
joan@irlen.com.au
www.irlendyslexia.com



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