Have you heard about vision therapy? Not us until someone approached to us giving this information and later on doing more research about it.
We look back five year from now and we were approach by an educator friend with important information about vision therapy. Genesis was only 2.5 years old and also wearing glasses at that time. We were excited to learn more about this type of therapy. One thing she did mention was that Genesis need it to be 7 years old in order to start vision therapy and that she was too young to start therapy since her eyes are still continue to develop. We let time pass and waited until Genesis could turn 7 years of age. By this time we were already aware of the symptoms and things to look at. Many of her performance started to make more sense and know that this can be corrected with vision therapy. We create a written observation and a letter to school addressing our concerns. We were able to identify those areas as a team and provide appropriate service to Genesis. Genesis wears prescription glasses throughout the whole day. She practically never takes them off. Here are our visual indicators of areas of concern:
- Constantly tilts her head when looking at front of the class or looking at TV screens
- Poor ball skills (catching ball)
- Tends to hold things very close to her
- Loses place when reading
- Short attention span when copying and omits letters, words & numbers
- When counting she skips the number or object.
- When reading, her finger follows at different speed two lines below from where she actually is reading
- Reverses numbers when writing
- Writes her answer in the incorrect place
- Erases excessively
These are just some of the indicators that we will mention at this time.
Vision therapy is a visual/vision training, is an individualized vision therapy program designed to correct visual-motor and perceptual-cognitive deficiencies. Vision therapy trains the entire visual system which includes eyes, brain, and body. The goal of vision therapy is to train the brain to tell the eyes to receive information effectively, comprehend it quickly and react appropriately. Her Vision therapist focus intensively on her tracking and convergence.
We would like to share how vision therapy worked for our daughter to achieve her full potential in academic performance. We have experienced about a total of 26 sessions and always making progress. The vision therapy sessions included procedures designed to enhance the brain's ability to control eye alignment, eye movements, eye tracking and focusing abilities. Parent presence in therapy sessions was welcome which works for the communication piece and also home therapy activities were assigned to be performed on a daily basis.
Ocular Motility Function, Genesis had inaccurate eye tracking. Just to mention a few examples of how vision therapy have made improvements in the area of tracking. Reading, has been always Genesis top priory, our area of concern was when reading she will skip lines and loss her space. She would also track with her finger at the wrong lines ( 1 or 2 lines bellow from where she was reading) but reading correctly.
After receiving 20 therapy sessions we have seen Genesis not skipping lines or using her finger to track her reading. Even if she uses her finger at times is still an improvement since she now points on the correct spot or rarely doesn't need to use her finger to track.
Now, she has excited readiness fluency on age appropriate grade level and after 30 therapy sessions accomplish she no longer feels the need of tracking with her finger. She is more consistent to what she is reading. She now enjoys signing the story and is able to express her reading thru American Sign Language using her hands and tracking with her eyes only.
She has improved in this skill by about 50% compared to her initial exam.
Another example on the area on focus, it's a challenge to copy information from the board down to her paper. She would loss her place when looking away and close to follow instructions. I learn this is called convergence, is when your eyes convert from focusing on something from close to far distance. Also, copying information from one sheet to the other was a challenging task for her. Now, her writing has improve by being more consisted on the lines and more . We have seen overall improvement. During this process experience she have received an award from her school for outstanding achievements in academic effort. She is 50% more stable than her initial exam.
In terms of accommodations the Doctor has recommended for Genesis to use a slant board and is included in her IEP. Viewing things at an angle has help her be more comfortable visually and perform more efficiently. Also, use highlighted marker to highlight middle broken line paper for better writing alignment and focus on writing. We continue to support our daughter at home with doctors accommodations for homework assignments.
|highlighting the middle breaking line to stay on the line as a visual guide|
If you are interested to get a checklist of Behavioral Indications of possible vision difficulty you can ask you (OT) Occupational Therapist at your school that can also assist you in supporting this area of concern and implementing it towards the child IEP as goal. Search your options or any further questions I might be able to answer or forgot to mention please comment and we can all keep learning.
The team always pay close attention to Genesis interest and motivation. The Optometrist Doctor and the Vision therapist were very attentive and explained with detail the procedures, therapy sessions, evaluations, and results about our daughter visual needs. Even front desk clerk and every employee in the office will greed my daughter by her name and ask to clean her glasses before sessions. Very friendly and welcoming experience on each visit. Thank you Pack and Bianes Vision staff and the team!
Thank you to that friend, teacher, for approaching us with this piece of information that ended up being part of our daughter's IEP and plan of life and it could also be for others reading this post.