BackgroundTo describe and compare visual function measures of two groups of school age children (6-14 years of age) attending a specialist eyecare practice in Austria; one group referred to the practice from educational assessment centres diagnosed with reading and writing difficulties and the other, a clinical age-matched control group. MethodsRetrospective clinical data from one group of subjects with reading difficulties (n=825) and a clinical control group of subjects (n=328) were examined. Statistical analysis was performed to determine whether any differences existed between visual function measures from each group (refractive error, visual acuity, binocular status, accommodative function and reading speed and accuracy). ResultsStatistical analysis using one way ANOVA demonstrated no differences between the two groups in terms of refractive error and the size or direction of heterophoria at distance (p>0.05). Using predominately one way ANOVA and chi-square analyses, those subjects in the referred group were statistically more likely to have poorer distance visual acuity, an exophoric deviation at near, a lower amplitude of accommodation, reduced accommodative facility, reduced vergence facility, a reduced near point of convergence, a lower AC/A ratio and a slower reading speed than those in the clinical control group (p
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