A specialized children's learning environment at the Summit Speech School in New Jersey. Photo: Tomwsulcer / Wikimedia
A specialized children’s learning area at the Summit Speech School, NJ.  Photo: Tomwsulcer / Wikimedia

May 27, 2015 – Learning new skill sets may help a child with dyslexia. Remedial compensations with a special educator will certainly help. Concrete skills tutoring with an experienced remediation specialist will also fit the bill.

Eye therapies, however, are useless for helping, let alone creating change in dyslexia when a child is affected by the disorder. Regardless of hype or hoopla.

That was the conclusion reached in findings of a study published this week online (May 25, 2015) in the journal Pediatrics. The article, entitled Ophthalmic Abnormalities and Reading Impairment, describes the study carried out at the University of Bristol School of Social and Community Medicine, and the Newcastle University’s Institute of Health and Society, both in the United Kingdom.

Here’s why: Dyslexia “is a brain dysfunction, not an eye disorder,” New York ophthalmologist Dr. Mark Fromer explained to Health Day News. “There are no studies that clearly identify that visual training can be helpful for the dyslexic patient.”  Fromer, who was not involved in the study, works at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

The researchers examined more than 5,800 children ages 7 to 9 and found that 80 percent of those with dyslexia had fully normal eye function and vision. Three percent of the subjects with severe dyslexia showed few discrepancies in vision, when compared with children who did not have the condition.

Ultimately, “We found no evidence that vision-based treatments would be useful to help children with SRI (severe reading impairment),” the researchers wrote in their findings .

As many as one out of every five school-age children has dyslexia, which can adversely affect a child’s self-esteem and impair his or her chances for future employment if not promptly identified correctly and addressed.