Nearly everyone is born with the potential for good eyesight, but this does not equate to efficient/good vision. Good vision is more than being able to see the 20/20 line on an acuity chart. Vision is an important neurological process that entails indentifying, interpreting, and understanding what is seen. This process is LEARNED and DEVELOPED over time, beginning at birth. When a vision problem exists, academic progression may suffer.
Vision-related learning problems may cause bright children to struggle and become frustrated with school. For example, a child who skips over words or lines when reading, who loses their place when reading, or who develops headaches and eye strain when reading likely has a vision problem. See our Visual Screening Questionnaire to find out if you or your child has a vision-related learning problem.
What is Optometric Vision Therapy?
Optometric Vision therapy is a progressive program of vision procedures/exercises individualized to fit the visual needs of each patient. Unlike other forms of exercise, the goal of Optometric Vision Therapy is not to strengthen eye muscles. Your eye muscles are already incredibly strong. The procedures are prescribed to help patients develop or improve fundamental visual skills and abilities, improve visual comfort, ease, and efficiency, and to change how a patient processes or interprets visual information. Visual tasks are integrated with movement, balance, hearing, rhythm and timing, and visualization in order to develop improved visual functioning. As skills are developed and perfected, new skills are added.
Optometric vision therapy at A New Vision involves a comprehensive program of 45 minute weekly sessions in the office with a therapist. In addition to in-office therapy, there is assigned home therapy which should be practiced 4 times per week. The home therapy is critical for the success of the vision therapy program. There is a progress visit with the doctor approximately every 8-10 weeks to evaluate skill development and change in symptoms. A typical treatment program lasts 4-8 months, but some can take more or less time, as every child learns and develops at a different rate.
Our therapy is individualized based on the symptoms and deficiencies noted in the vision therapy and visual perceptual evaluations. Therapists will utilize a variety oftools and medical equipment like therapeutic lenses, prisms, filters, patches, electronic targets with timing mechanisms, and balance boards. All of these activities, while fun for the children, are done in a safe, supervised environment. Our program is goal based and we are committed to improving every patient’s visual function and performance.
Vision therapy can be used to treat such conditions as convergence insufficiency, strabismus (eye turn in or out), amblyopia (lazy eye), and oculomotor dysfunction (tracking problem). Also, many children diagnosed with ADHD, learning disabilities, autism, and dyslexia may have functional vision problems that interfere with learning, and may benefit from proper treatment.
What Vision Therapy is NOT:
There are a number of programs of "eye exercises" and techniques for improving vision that are not associated with Optometric Vision Therapy, such as colored lenses or other programs advertised to quickly improve eyesight.
Likewise, education therapy and vision therapy should not be confused. We do not treat learning problems directly. We treat them only to the extent that an underlying vision problem is the cause of the learning issue. Once this sort of vision problem is treated, we may refer a patient to a learning specialist/tutor to help them with learning techniques.
Optometric Vision Therapy is carefully monitored by a licensed optometrist, and is supported by the American Optometric Association as a clinical treatment for certain visual deficits. Dr. Stone is board certified in vision development and vision therapy by the College of Optometrists in Vision Development.