The Behavioral Side of Visual Disorders

Visual or perceptual skill deficiencies can manifest in a multitude of ways. First and foremost, they are most discernible in the ability to use our eyes together effectively. Altering what we see and how we see it. This is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Visual disorders seldom start and stop with the eyes.

The Behavioral Side of Visual Disorders in Bellflower

Amplify Eyecare of Greater Long Beach

It’s only affecting my eyes, right?

The truth is visual disorders rarely affect only what we see and how we see it. Vision is the first stop on this train but is by far not the last. Taking in visual information effectively is key but then there is a perceptual element to it as well. We are sensory beings and there’s hardly a moment the brain is not intaking, perceiving, and processing information. Life is perception afterall. If we take a moment to think it through we can come to an understanding that how we see things may alter parts of our personality.

Let’s try a thought experiment to solidify our point. Consider a child who has double vision at his near point. He can’t use his eyes together effectively to read his schoolwork or do any nearpoint work for that matter. What do you think the likely outcome would be behaviorally?

With his inability to do any near point work with proper fusion, most likely garnering headaches, as well as frustration, he will most likely form a maladaptive behavior such as inattentiveness or other aversive behaviors. If he can’t read, why should he try? These maladaptive behaviors, like a snowball rolling downhill, will lend themselves to the further reinforcement of the behavior as well as the genesis of new, complementary ones or maladaptive behaviors that feed off of one another. 

How Far Does The Rabbit Hole Go?

It’s hard to quantify the exact extent to which visual disorders can affect us but it’s commonplace to accept that these effects can be felt throughout our whole being.

Visual data is about 80% of the sensory information we receive in the brain. If we analyze that a little closer we can infer that 80% of our sense perception is through our eyes. If there is a disconnect or deficiency in this pathway it can be the origin of psychological and behavioral issues.

The perceptual element, or understanding what we’re seeing, is the next crucial step in this process. If we aren’t taking in the visual data appropriately, and we aren’t processing it in our brain effectively, you can start to imagine the implications in our daily lives. The danger in this is a disorder left undiagnosed or unaddressed. If a child suffers from a visual disorder it can interrupt many important psychological and behavioral aspects from identity formation, self-esteem issues, emotional regulation, to hyperactivity.

Unfortunately, the list of psychological repercussions is vast which helps show the importance of addressing these issues early rather than fighting against years of conditioned maladaptive behaviors later in life. 

How Far Does The Rabbit Hole Go?
Dr. Ikeda cartoon

What Can I Do if My Child Has Behavioral and Visual Issues?

This is a good question to ask. Once we have the awareness that our child needs help, we can act on it by seeking the proper channels for care. Behavioral Optometrists and Vision Therapists are skilled in this very field. A lot of FCOVDs and Therapists have crossover training and exposure to the psychological sciences. The direct approach is two-fold: Treat the eyes and brain, and treat the person. To have an effective treatment we must not solely address the eyes. Patients are more than their eyes and they come in with the behaviors and feelings associated with their issues. At Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach we look past the readily discernible visual disorders and look to understand and course correct the maladaptive behaviors that originated with the visual disorder. That’s not to say we are Psychologists or that Vision Therapy is the cure-all for psychological disorders. Sometimes, outside of Vision Therapy, additional professional help is needed but rest assured on the inside of vision therapy, we are looking to help in any way we can, including the behavioral side of the coin.                


I haven't actually used the optometrist side, so my review is limited to the vision therapy offered.  This office was recommended by my occupational therapist for the treatment of my double vision following a stroke.

Claire A.

Love this location. I had a brain injury accident from day one one. All the team make you feel you still important and hope in the horizon after when the medical system fell you miserably. Dr. Ikeda very professional and very understanding about your issue. Two tombs up.

Jim K.

My husband and I were immediately impressed with Dr Ikeda. I was hit by a car while cycling which caused broken bones and three brain injuries. The brain injuries caused double vision. Dr. Ikeda examined my eyes and got me started on vision therapy with his occupational therapist who specializes in vision therapy.  She (Chris) is absolutely great.  I am impressed with the array of tools used to help recover my binocular vision.  I am doing things I never thought were possible (balance boards etc).  Chris pushes me and keeps me motivated. I really enjoy my sessions with her.  The office staff is always friendly and they have a wonderful appointment reminder tool that makes it easy to keep my calendar up to date. I am happy the rehab center at Little Co. of Mary recommended them!!

Teresa S.

The Vision Therapy is handled in a separate office through a different door from the shared waiting room. Chris, the vision therapist, has a wide and varied assortment of tools, equipment and resources to best evaluate and treat most vision issues. After just a few visits, my double vision became easier to control, using exercises developed during the therapy process. It was time well-spent.

Joe M.

I have been coming here since I can remember. I love it here. The staff is so amazing and nice. They explain everything they gonna do and never make you feel rushed. Dr. Ikeda has always been my doctor and I would never want another one. He is the doctor for my whole family and is always asking how everyone is doing. I am also so crazy about picking out my frames and have to try so many and each person who helps me take the time and lets me try them all on. I would never want to go anywhere else! I definitely would recommend this office to anyone looking for a great eye doctor.

Kayla W.

This is not for the eye exam but for the frames selection portion. I brought my prescription from Kaiser here with my VSP insurance. The reception staff was very polite and professional.  Manny helped me to pick out frames and explain my coverage.  Very helpful and patient not like the individual at the other place I rated here on Yelp.  I was running late and he still helped me and was not bothered at all.  I am so glad I came here ..........very pleased.

Very professional staff and pleasant.

Daniel G.
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