Can an Optometrist Test for Dyslexia?

Updated: Dec 1, 2020

Lots of parents of struggling readers will call our specialty eye care center and ask if we test for Dyslexia.


Test of Visual Perceptual Skills (TVPS) performed by Optometrist, Dr. Peter Charron at Northwest Vision Development Center in Bellingham Washington.
This is a test of visual processing which is often performed during a vision therapy evaluation at our Optometrist Office in Bellingham, WA

When it comes to the answer, we'll give you the short answer, then go into the longer answer.


The short answer is no. We do not test for Dyslexia. That is something that can be diagnosed by psychologists in, or outside of your school system.


The long answer is that vision problems could masquerade as Dyslexia because many vision problems can (and often do) impact reading, writing, spelling and math abilities.


These vision problems include:



There's an key element to keep in mind here. You can still have these vision problems even if you don't need glasses. Sure, having blurry vision could wreck a child's reading performance but that's not what we're referring to here.


You can actually have 20/20 eyesight, pass a vision screening, have completely healthy eyes, but still have many of these common vision problems which could be causing different types of reading, writing, and learning problems.


The good news is that although these vision problems can cause difficulty with reading, they are treatable. Usually all that needs to be done is to train the patient to develop better visual skill using Vision Therapy.


With a treatment like vision therapy you can improve visual processing and as a result, you could remove a major barrier that stands in the way of fluent reading, writing and learning.


Consider getting a vision therapy (neuro optometric) evaluation to see if you have the necessary visual skill in order to read fluently!


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