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Mom finds answer to daughter’s learning struggles after vision disorder diagnosis

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Posted at 7:16 PM, Mar 10, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-10 21:16:37-04

PLEASANT GROVE -- It's a condition that one in four children have, but some of the signs can be mistaken for learning disorders such as Attention Deficit Disorder.

It took one Provo family months before they discovered that their daughter, Savannah Heideman had Binocular Vision Disorder.

"When I finally found the answer I have to admit I sat and cried because I thought, ‘oh finally a relief,’” said Savannah's mother, Lynette Heideman.

Savannah struggled in school.

“We didn`t know what was wrong -- we had her in private tutoring and everything we could think of,” Heideman said.

Despite the extra help, Savannah was held back in first grade and put in special education classes.

“I knew she didn`t have a learning disability but I didn`t know what was wrong,” Heideman said.

But little did her parents or teachers know Savannah was seeing two of everything.

“Everything was miserable because seeing two of everything -- I did not like it I couldn`t read, write or do anything normally,” Savannah said.

Not only was school a challenge but things like sports, watching TV and eating were difficult for Savannah.

“It was really, really hard having to sit through school -- everybody like was in a higher reading group than me and I wasn`t doing very good in school,” Savannah said.

But everything changed when Savannah's parents took her to see Dr. Robin Price, a developmental optometrist. He diagnosed their daughter with severe Binocular Vision Disorder.

“When you`re reading your eyes have to look more inward -- they have to change focus to see the words clearly and they have to move together as they`re tracking across the line,” Price said.

Binocular Vision Disorder can be corrected.

After six months of vision therapy Savannah's eyes were working perfectly together.

“I hated it very much but it really helped me," Savannah said of the therapy.

The Heidemans started a nonprofit organization called ‘Find Your Focus,’ which educates the public about the vision disorder.

Visit findyourfocusfoundation.com for more information on the organization.