Autism

Girl with autism learning

Symptoms and Problems Caused By Autism

Autism is a neurological disorder in which the person has difficulty processing and reacting to information received from their senses. The individual also has trouble communicating and interacting socially.

Signs of autism include:

  • Lack of shared social interaction
  • Postponement in development
  • Untimely response to sensory information

As a result of the condition, autistic people commonly have visual problems, including:

  • Lack of eye contact
  • Gazing at spinning objects or light
  • Short-lived peripheral glances
  • Side viewing
  • Difficulty using visual information efficiently
  • Trouble staying visually focused
  • Eye movement disorders
  • Crossed eyes
  • Problems with motor skills and depth perception
  • Troubles with eye-hand coordination
  • Sensitivity to light

In addition to the above complications, there are often challenges with coordinating central and peripheral vision. So, for instance, if asked to track an object with their eyes, an autistic person generally will not look directly at the target. Rather, they will glance over or look off to the side of the object. On the other hand, individuals may disregard peripheral vision all together and stay fixated on a specific spot for extended periods of time.

The inability to merge both peripheral and central vision can result in problems processing and incorporating visual information. And when visual processing is inhibited, motor, speech, mental and perceptual capabilities could be impacted.

Testing for Autism

Many times, autistic people are visually or tactually defensive. As it specifically relates to vision, this means that the person tends to continuously scan visual information as a way of trying to process its meaning.

A primary care physician will and can diagnose autism, but an optometrist can evaluate vision and perform tests that examine the individual’s visual abilities. Tests usually consist of having the person perform actions—like sitting, standing, walking and throwing a ball—while wearing specialized lenses and/or yoked prisms. By doing this, the optometrist is able to inspect their postural adaptations and how they see and react to visual stimulation.

Once information from the tests is gathered, the specialist can prescribe lenses to help with astigmatism, farsightedness or nearsightedness. Vision therapy may also be recommended and can be used to encourage visual stimulation, eye movement and awakening of the central visual system. All forms of treatment are intended to help autistic individuals establish visual space, increase peripheral stability, improve central vision, have better eye coordination and enhance how the person processes visual information.

A follow-up examination will likely be scheduled every three to five weeks to evaluate progress.

Location

Hours

Monday - Friday:

8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Lunch from 12-1pm

1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Saturday:

8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Every Third Saturday

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials & Reviews

  • "Always helpful, always friendly, and always professional. I have been using this practice for years and never a complaint. Totally recommend their services."
    Derrick J
  • "From the moment we walked in the office they took great care of my children! I'm very pleased by the time he took and for the exceptional care they all received. When you walk in with 4 kids it can be overwhelming but not at this office. We will not change eye Dr's again!"
    Wesley S
  • "Very professional, thorough. Pleasant, caring staff."
    Patricia F
  • "Dr. Gundersheimer took his time to make sure I felt comfortable with the exam. My glasses were ready sooner than expected. Very satisfied. The staff is great!"
    Cathy W
  • "Dr. Gundersheimer was methodical and took time for explanations. He made me feel like a valued patient...not a number."
    Allen C
  • "Dr. Gundersheimer and his staff are all very friendly and informative. The atmosphere and experience is always pleasant."
    Deryl R
  • "Excellent service! Dr. Gundersheimer always goes above and beyond to take exceptional care of his patients. He and his staff are kind, professional and attentive. Always a pleasant experience! Thank you!"
    Kristina M
  • "A fun atmosphere, kind and helpful staff, and a great doctor! I was very happy with my visit. And my glasses!!"
    Mickinze V
  • "We have used Dr Gundersheimer for years. Always feel confident in our eye exams by him."
    Gene P
  • "Really nice Dr and staff. Wait was a little but I was well worth it !"
    Erin C
  • "I love going to see Dr. Gundersheimer! Not only do I get an eye exam, I get an explanation of what is going on with my eyes and what causes it as well as what to expect in the future with my eyes. He is very thorough in his exam and always makes sure to answer any questions I have."
    Will M
  • "Very professional and nice! Thanks for see me!"
    Catherine B