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Visual profiles of adolescents enrolled in a high school for the academically at-risk

1 December 2005


Background: Many students are academically at-risk, and while some of them are getting help through special schooling, they might also be experiencing other underlying issues that could be affecting their educational success such as vision problems, dyslexia, and/or Attention Deficit Disorder/ Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD). Methods: Thirty-one students from a high school for academically at-risk youth volunteered for (with a monetary incentive) and were administered a battery of tests for vision, dyslexia, reading, and eye movements. Information was also collected regarding ADD/ ADHD and medications for each subject. All data was then compared to norms for pass/fail, and statistical analysis was performed on those with vision problems versus those without. Results: Twenty-two (72%) subjects failed at least one vision testing category. In addition to normal vision screening tests, students could also pass/fail supplementary vision tests not generally included in a vision screening. Statistical analysis identified three out of the nineteen potential categories comparing students with vision problems to students without vision problems as being significantly different, i.e. whether any difference between the groups is a matter of chance, e.g. due to experimental error. The significant categories were: accommodative facility, vergence facility, and distance rock. A correlation matrix was run to compare subjects' actual grade levels to grade level placements from the Dyslexia Determination Test (DDT), Informal Reading Inventory (IRI), and Visagraph to see if one is a predictor of any of the others, and results determined that they do not parallel one another. Twenty (64%) of the subjects were identified as having ADD/ADHD, while 24 (77%) were reported to be on some form of medication. Conclusions: The results from this study suggest that academically at-1isk adolescents demonstrated a high frequency of vision problems, dyslexia, and/or ADD/ADHD.


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