Vision Therapy

Vision Therapy is a therapy that teaches your brain how to use your eyes more efficiently.  This improves skills such as eye tracking, eye teaming, eye focusing, and visual perception.  Deficiencies in these areas can cause problems with learning, problems with sports, and even trouble driving.  Vision Therapy also helps those who have suffered a concussion or brain injury.

There is much more to our visual system than seeing 20/20.  Seeing 20/20 means that you are seeing clearly.  But there are many other visual skills needed to see.  Vision Therapy uses the more recently understood concept of neuroplasticity to train the brain how to use your eyes more efficiently.  Because we have found that there is no age limit on neuroplasticity, vision therapy can be beneficial to people of all ages.  Eye focusing, eye tracking, visual perception and eye coordination are four of the key visual skills needed to see accurately and efficiently.

Eye Focusing is the ability to maintain a comfortable focus at near is essential for reading.  The ability to relax your focusing system allows you to see well at distance.  The ability to quickly switch between distance and near is very important in the classroom.  Possible indications of a problem include:

  • Close working distance
  • Complaints of intermittent blurred vision distance and or near
  • Poor reading comprehension
  • Says eyes are tired
  • Able to read for only a short time
  • Has headaches when reading

Eye Tracking:  The ability to smoothly and accurately move the eyes from one point to another is not a skill that everyone is able to do.  Moving your eyes across a page while reading actually takes several different kinds of eye movement. Some possible signs of an eye tracking problem include:

  • Moves head excessively when reading
  • Frequently loses place, skips lines when reading
  • Uses finger to keep place
  • Poor reading comprehension
  • Short attention span
  • Eye tracking problems

Eye Coordination: This category includes lazy eyes and eye turns.  Some eye turns are visible, however some have an eye misalignment that is not visible to an observer.   Possible symptoms of an eye coordination problem include:

  • Closes or covers one eye (lays head down on desk to occlude one eye)
  • Occasionally sees double
  • Rubs eyes frequently
  • Able to read for only a short time
  • Poor reading comprehension
  • Words can move around on the page

Vision Perception is the ability to interpret, analyze, and give meaning to what we see.  These skills help us recognize and integrate visual stimuli with previously stored data to form a stable, predictable, familiar world.  In other words, vision perception allows us to understand, not just see.

In school, visual perceptual skills are particularly important.  Without good perceptual skills, we could not recognize words we’ve already seen, tell the difference between a p and q, sequence the order of letters when spelling, visualize reading content for comprehension, determine left from right, scan a busy worksheet, and mentally manipulate objects in math.

  • The symptoms of a visual perception problem are many but some include:
  • Mistakes words with similar beginnings
  • Difficulty recognizing letters, words, or simple shapes and forms
  • Can't distinguish the main idea from insignificant details
  • Trouble learning basic math concepts of size, magnitude, and position
  • Trouble visualizing what is read- Poor reading comprehension
  • Poor speller
  • Trouble with mathematical concepts
  • Poor recall of visually presented material
  • Sloppy handwriting and drawing
  • Can't stay on lines
  • Poor copying skills
  • Can respond orally but not in writing
  • Faulty visual motor integration (inability to process and reproduce visual images by writing or drawing)
  • Trouble learning right and left
  • Reverses letters and words
  • Trouble writing and remembering letters and numbers
  • Difficulty with laterality and directionality (poor development of left/right awareness)

When your child has a speech problem, you know because you can hear it.  There is no way however to know how your child is seeing.  Because children have seen the same way their whole life, they assume everyone sees the way they do.  Children will never complain of double vision or eyestrain.  They just assume its normal.

Because 80% of what your child learns is through their eyes, please make sure they are seeing the world not only clearly, but accurately as well.