Vision Therapy is an individualised, supervised, non-surgical treatment program designed to correct eye movements and visual-motor deficiencies. Vision therapy sessions include procedures to enhance the brain’s ability to control:
– eye alignment
– eye teaming
– eye focusing abilities
– eye movements, and/or
– visual processing
Current research indicates that approximately one out of four children have vision disorders that interfere with their ability to learn. Even if a child passes the standard basic vision exam with 20/20 visual acuity, it is still possible to have inefficient visual function, which affects learning. Many visual skills and abilities are vital to the learning process, yet are not tested for in routine eye exams that primarily test for 20/20.
Children who struggle to read and complete assignments, or who become disinterested in and avoid reading, often have vision disorders, which underlay these problems. Eyestrain, blurring, headaches, double vision, “words moving on the page”, loss of place, failure to recognize letters or simple words, omissions and transpositions, difficulty copying from the desk or chalkboard, and inability to sustain attention while reading are common symptoms of such vision disorders. When these vision disorders are detected, they are usually treatable, often with significant gains in classroom performance.
Perhaps your child’s problem is as simple as needing proper glasses, or maybe your child needs vision therapy treatment. Vision therapy underscores the difference between sight – the ability to see – and vision – the ability to interpret and understand information that comes through the eyes.
Visual-motor skills and endurance are developed through the use of specialized computer and optical devices, including therapeutic lenses, prisms and filters. During the final stages of therapy, the patient’s newly acquired visual skills are reinforced and made automatic through repetition and by integration with motor and cognitive skills.
In vision therapy programs, optometrists look at the neurological control system and thus are treating the whole visual-motor system and altering reflexive behaviour, which results in a lasting cure. Also, most optometrists rely on office-based therapy, which they believe is more accurately performed and monitored.
Most children come for between ten and twelve ½ hour in-office sessions. After the fifth session a re-evaluation is done to determine progress and to, if necessary, adapt the program.