Individual Therapeutic Care
The First Step
Following diagnosis of a Vision Related Learning Problem, the patient enters a treatment program with a Behavioral Optometrist. Vision therapy is a step-by-step, development-based series of activities and procedures that the patient practices over time. The therapy is designed to facilitate the development of more efficient and comprehensive visual processing.
A program of Optometric Vision Therapy can provide the child with the necessary visual abilities for academic achievement. When a Vision Related Learning Problem is remediated, it is common to see a child who was frustrated and doing poorly in school turn around become excited about learning and a success in school. Vision therapy has been shown to have cure rates in the high 90th percentile for these types of visual difficulties. (Paul Harris, O.D., F.C.O.V.D., F.A.C.B.O.)
Type of Visual Problems
- Visual Tracking: When visual tracking is slow or inefficient, loss of place, skipping, or rereading and difficulty copying from one place to another will result.
- Visual focusing and Eye Coordination: Lack of skill in either will result in visual fatigue, blur when reading, reduced reading comprehension, and difficulty with attention.
- Visual Form Perception: Confusion or miscalling of words that look similar and letter and/or word reversals can result from difficulty in visual form perception.
- Visual-Motor Integration: Students with difficulty in this area will find writing to be slow, stressful and oftentimes sloppy.
- Visual Memory: Deficiencies in visual memory will cause problems remembering the way words look and reading comprehension and spelling will suffer.
Techniques Used to Remediate Visual Problems
Under the direction of a Behavioral Optometrist, an individualized program of Optometric Vision Therapy is undertaken to provide patients with the opportunity to develop the necessary visual abilities for academic achievement. The individualized Optometric Vision Therapy program will emphasize the following:
- Monocular activities designed to equalize the focusing, tracking and pointing of each eye.
- Binocular work to improve eye-teaming efficiency.
- Visual-spatial tasks to develop integrated sequential and directional concepts.
- Form training stressing: visual discrimination, spatial relationships, form constancy,figureground relationships and visual closure.
- A visualization program to improve the speed and span of visual recognition as they pertain to short and long-term visual memory.
- Visuo-motor tasks to improve body awareness and control, and visually directed fine motor skills.
- Inter-sensory integration skills through visualauditory-verbal matching.
With some patients a combined program of vision therapy and tutoring has been found to be effective. This is often an appropriate technique for a patient who has fallen behind in academic areas – especially reading, math, and critical thinking skills. The tutoring is designed to help the patient incorporate their increased visual processing skills more efficiently to meet the demands of the classroom. When a Vision Related Learning Problem is remediated, it is common to see a child who was frustrated and doing poorly in school turn around and become excited about learning and a success in school.