"Visual Overload"

Post Image

Visual Overload / Sensory Overload

Streff Syndrome – Differential Diagnosis

Test or Characteristic: Malingering/Hysterical Amblyopia /Streff Syndrome

Gender (ratio): 1:1/ Female 2:1/ Female 2:1

Age: any/ 8 – 14 yrs/ 6 -12 yrs

Attitude: hostile / Detached/ Amiable

Involved eye(s): uni or bilateral/ bilateral/ bilateral

Accommodation: normal/ possible spasm Unstable lag

Visual Fields: All implausible / restricted

Ocular health: normal / normal/ normal

Symptoms: various / recent onset of blur/Difficulty in school

Stereoacuity: normal/ reduced/ reduced

Color Vision: normal/ normal unreliable responses

Mobility: exaggerated difficulty? normal/ possible clumsiness

We have all had experiences when we are confronted with

too many things at once. We find ourselves in situations in which we are stopped in our tracks and can’t continue to think. We become “overloaded”. Streff Syndrome had been coined by Dr. John Streff himself as “visual overload”. This is a condition in which healthy children can no longer put their visual function together as continuous meaning. The symptoms can vary but commonly are unexplained blurred vision in both eyes, an unstable focusing system, reduced depth perception, clumsiness, occasional double vision, and increased difficulties in school. It is logical to reason that autistic spectrum children have a “sensory overload” disorder. Which makes normal interaction in the daily world too overwhelming for them. Children with autism spectrum disorders have motor, sensory, language and social-emotional delays that are also affected by the lack of visual processing. Likewise visual problems affect cognitive, speech/ language, social-emotional and perceptual development. Specifically, delays in oculomotor function, focusing, and binocular abilities can affect gross and fine motor abilities and language acquisition. Sensory problems result when vision does not coordinate with the vestibular (balance) and proprioceptive (touch,feel) systems properly, or if there is poor synchronization between the central and peripheral visual systems.
What is important is that the time period from age 18 months to four years of age, when autism is usually diagnosed, is an extremely important window of development for vision as well as language, socialization and other crucial areas. During this time frame, vision should begin to dominate the movement system, to coordinate the proprioceptive, vestibular and tactile systems. Those with autism spectrum disorders simply have gaps in sensory, motor and visual areas so enormous that they cannot be closed without therapy.