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T. Langaas, P. Riddell, E. Svarverud, C. Bjørset, K. H. Larsen, M. Fjerdingstad, A. E. Ystenæs; Visual Deficits in Children With Co-Occurring Developmental Disorders. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):135.
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Some previous studies have found a greater prevalence of visual deficits in children with specific reading disorders (SRD). This may be the result of co-occurring developmental disorders since up to 50% of children with SRD have been shown to meet diagnostic criteria for other disorders. To address this, we measured visual function in children who met diagnostic criteria for one or more developmental disorder (DD), in comparison to control children.
18 children already identified as having either (SRD, motor deficiencies (DCD) and/or attention problems [AD(H)D] were referred to the Department of Optometry and Visual Science at Buskerud University College for further investigation (DD group). 15 children with no developmental disorders were also assessed (control group). Each child was given an eye examination with particular stress on measures of accommodation and binocular function. Children were also assessed on the ABC test for movement disorders, and response inhibition and sustained attention tests from the TEA-Ch.
There were significant between-group differences in accommodative lag (RE: F1,24 = 7.75, p = 0.01; LE: F1,24 = 8.30, p = 0.008) and stereoacuity (F1,24 = 4.98, p = 0.035). In both measures, the performance of the DD group was lower than controls. When children were divided into groups according to which disorder they had, only those with SRD were poorer in accommodative lag (RE: F1,22 = 12.26, p = 0.002; LE: F1,22 = 13.21, p = 0.001) and stereoacuity (F1,22 = 5.34, p = 0.31).All children were then categorised by whether they had 1) any accommodative, or 2) any binocular problem. No between-group differences in the number of affected children were found for accommodative problems. In contrast, there were more children categorised with binocular problems in the DD group than in the control group (p < 0.0001). When children were divided on the basis of which DD they had, children in the SRD and DCD groups were found to be more affected (p < 0.0001) but those in the AD(H)D group were not.
Our results suggest that visual deficits are most prevalent in children with SRD and/or DCD in comparison to children with AD(H)D.
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