Accommodations to be made for convergence insufficiency

Written by lauren liberati
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Accommodations to be made for convergence insufficiency
Accommodation of convergence insufficiency relies heavily on appropriate diagnosis and plan of care. (Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Convergence insufficiency is a binocular vision disorder most frequently diagnosed among older children and adolescents. The condition may cause symptoms such as headaches, blurred vision, double vision and even sleepiness. Because of its visual effects, convergence insufficiency can interfere with common tasks such as reading and computer viewing, potentially causing a child to suffer in scholastic performance. In a home or school setting, you must ensure reasonable accommodation for a person with convergence insufficiency.

Vision Therapy

A person with convergence insufficiency should receive a daily window of time to practice exercises that will help alleviate symptoms and gradually improve the condition. Children are often prescribed 15 minutes of "pencil push-ups" daily -- an exercise in which they focus on a small letter on the side of a pencil while moving it closer to the bridge of their nose and stopping the movement if they have double vision. They can also use specially designed computer programs to increase their convergence ability.

Awareness Provision

Parents, teachers, students and supervisors should receive education about the symptoms associated with convergence insufficiency. This way, they can help make the environment more conducive to productivity for a person with the condition. For example, if a child experiences significant eye strain or double vision while reading, the teacher may elect to read the material aloud for the time being. If symptoms persist, the teacher should give the student time to recover before continuing his work.

Periodic Evaluation

Compliance with therapy for convergence insufficiency offers an excellent prognosis. Intermittent evaluations by a trained professional play a vital role in gauging improvement and the need for additional treatment. Therefore, educators should make accommodations to ensure that people with convergence insufficiency receive the recommended evaluations. Similarly, a child with a suspected or diagnosed learning disability in which parents, the child, teachers or doctors think vision may play a role by should receive a referral to an ophthalmologist with paediatric experience; routine paediatric vision screening is not designed to detect near-vision problems such as convergence insufficiency.


Once a person receives a proper evaluation for and diagnosis of convergence insufficiency, the program should focus on helping him function efficiently in school performance, at work or in athletic activities and to relieve ocular, physical and psychological symptoms. Often, this feat requires a combination of learning assistance, psychosocial support and medical treatment. Because improvement of the condition centres heavily on an appropriate level of personal and medical support, you can always adjust the program to adapt to individual needs.

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