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gershonb
gershonb asks:
Q:

I am an adult with longtime visual integration difficulties.  Can anyone point me toward resources for more accurate diagnosis?

I am 60 years old and in retraining for a new career in IT, I've come up against an old problem.  While my vision is very sharp, I can only focus on a tiny area at a time, such as one letter in a word.  I can read very well, and quickly, but am not sure how.  The real problem is in math--I had trouble "seeing" math problems, and algebra was a nightmare growing up.  On re-studying algebra, I realized that my problem had always been that I could only "see" one term of an equation at a time.  Board games like chess or checkers were difficult because I couldn't see the whole board.  I have vision out to 190 degrees, but focus only at the very center. I have to scan and "read" faces where others evidently take snapshots whole faces--which makes even pleasurable socializing very exhausting.  I can "map" my environment and find things, but if something is moved it becomes "lost." I have always had problems filling in bubble-answer sheets because I would lose track and start filling in the wrong column.  In filling-in online forms, I'm always missing fields and having to go back--and they had "disappeared" even when I was checking a second time.    Can anyone tell me what kind of visual processing disorder this is? Are there people who help adults with this?  Thanks for your time...
In Topics: Learning disabilities, Visual processing disorder
> 60 days ago

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Expert

LouiseSattler
Sep 16, 2012
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What the Expert Says:

Hello and thank you for writing to JustAsk!

Some of what you are describing may be best diagnosed and helped with a visual acuity and also field of vision testing. An opthamologist who works with visual field and visual processing problems may be your best first step.  I did some digging and found this sample article:  https://secure.aao.org/pdf/057134.pdf

To find a doctor who specializes in this field in your area you may wish to check here: http://www.aao.org/find_eyemd.cfm  (or check with local opthamologists in your area and medical health plans)

Also, you may ask for some visual training, through associations who work with people with visual processing difficulties.  Luckily, many are finding success with e-readers as they have many font and light features to help with concentration and visual attention.  This may be something you wish to explore.

The career counselors at local community colleges also may be of help to you.

Good luck with your new endeavors and training!

Louise Sattler, Psychologist
@LouiseASL


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