Does your child have learning and attentional difficulties?


Did you know kids with convergence insufficiency of the eyes often present with inattention and behavioural challenges in the home and learning environment.

Teachers, medical doctors, and school nurses often do not attribute poor attention and behaviour problems to functional vision problems such as convergence insufficiency. This causes the child to be mislabeled based on behavior problems or learning difficulties, when really the underlying difficulty is vision.

Before considering medication, you may want to know that children with AD(H)D symptoms are 3x more likely to have a common vision problem called convergence insufficiency that can interfere with a child’s ability to attend to reading and/or writing tasks.

Convergence Insufficiency (CI) is a vision coordination problem that affects about 10% of children. When the eyes look near, such as when reading and writing, they must make precise eye movements together to keep things clear and single. Convergence is the coordination of the eyes together which is essential for skills such as reading, writing eye-tracking and learning in the classroom. Convergence insufficiency can also lead to problems with gross motor skills and coordination needed in ball-sports such as catching, hitting a ball or aiming for a target when shooting goals in basketball or netball for example.

CI is not related to eyesight, or the need for glasses or 20/20 vision. In some children, the coordinated eye movements needed to precisely converge the eyes do not develop properly. Concussions or other types of mild head injuries can also cause convergence problems. While some children (and adults) will try to work through their symptoms and often may get headaches or eye strain.

A recent study found that children with eye coordination issues have a much more difficult time finishing schoolwork and paying attention in academic settings. Often children with convergence insufficiency will experience strain or discomfort while trying to read. Their eyes may not track across the page well, so they lose their place. Many times, children are not able to identify that these symptoms are abnormal, so it is important to ask them about what they are seeing. But keep in mind that avoidance itself can be the biggest symptom as some children will often not focus their eyes on the page long enough to see the words as blurry or double or that a headache or eye strain is associated with difficulty reading.

Some children will find it too difficult to multi-task and their brain will struggle to keep attention on the material. Hence children are seen to be inattentive and have poor concentration needed for learning. These children are often criticised for poor executive functioning and organisational skills.

At Brainfit Kids we understand that a child must integrate primitive reflexes, build core stability, and have good functional connectivity in brain networks between the 2 hemispheres of the brain in order for more refined movements such as pencil grip and coordinated eye movements such as convergence can develop.

Contact Brainfit Kids for more information.

Borsting, E., Mitchell, G.L., Kulp, M.T., Scheiman, M., Amster, D.M., Cotter, S., Coulter, R.A., Fecho, G., Gallaway, M.F., Granet, D., Hertle, R., Rodena, J. and Yamada, T. (2012). Improvement in Academic Behaviors After Successful Treatment of Convergence Insufficiency. Optometry and Vision Science, 89(1), pp.12–18. doi:

Rouse, M., Borsting, E., Mitchell, G.L., Kulp, M.T., Scheiman, M., Amster, D., Coulter, R., Fecho, G. and Gallaway, M. (2009). Academic Behaviors in Children with Convergence Insufficiency with and without Parent-Reported ADHD. Optometry and Vision Science, 86(10), pp.1169–1177. doi:

russ (n.d.). Can Vision Problems be Misdiagnosed as ADHD? [online] Available at:

russ (n.d.). Convergence Insufficiency. [online] Available at: