I have been discussing here with didi about how early abuse adversely affected my vision and my reading as a small boy. I still have some kind of a reading problem. Didi has given me permission to discuss this problem as it relates to her son.

I had independently come to the conclusion that abuse was the major contributing factor to the problem with my eyes: I was wall-eyed (medically called exotropia, a kind of strabismus). But apparently for other people it causes the opposite condition: cross-eyes (medically called esotropia, also a kind of strabismus).

I had trouble learning to read as a small boy. Then when I did learn to read, I was a painfully slow reader. I had trouble in sports because I couldn't accurately judge distance. I couldn't tell where the ball was in playing softball. Even in playing marbles (which we played when I was little) I couldn't judge distances well.

Didi, who frequents the MS Discussion site, has a small son who experienced abuse at the same age I did. He has the same kind of vision problem, except Didi is being careful to find experts to work with her son to solve these problems.

I wonder how common this is among young abuse survivors. It is probably not correctly diagosed most of the time. Hence the need to discuss it here.

Interestingly enough, although it is distressing, is the fact that the specialist working with Didi's son identified a problem that mimics dyslexia. It is not dyslexia because the problem resides in the eyes and control of the eye muscles. It is a false dyslexia.

This is very important because even most eye doctors don't recognize that these eye problems can be caused by abuse.

I had vision therapy for a bunch of years as an adult to straighten my eyes. Surgery was unsuccessful. I was told that it was impossible to have success with vision therapy as an adult. But that was incorrect. Vision therapy has been largely successful with me. It has astonished some of the doctors who were told in medical school or optometry school that this was impossible.

I have posted a picture of myself at age 4 before the abuse started. The picture is in the member's side. It is clear that my eyes were correctly aligned at that time.


Straightening my eyes has greatly improved my reading and my appearance.

I hope this will stimulate discussion on this topic and on reading and eye problems related to abuse.

I am going to include the letter from one of the specialists who is working with Didi's son. I am doing this with her permission. The name of her son has been erased.


pufferfish whistle

Edited by pufferfish (05/30/09 02:58 PM)
Edit Reason: added link to my picture