What Is Vision Therapy?
Vision therapy is a sub-specialty of optometry, which improves, enhances or develops visual performance in every area of daily life as well as learning, reading, sports and more -all through a prescribed treatment program.
Is 20/20 Vision Good Enough?
If your child has 20/20 eyesight, it only means that they can see a certain sized letter from 20 feet away.
This distance acuity is not good enough information about what your child sees on the printed page. It does not tell you whether your child understands what he or she reads.
Therefore, if your child has 20/20 eyesight, it does not mean they see the printed page the way they need to in order to read well.
Vision Therapy Expert
Pat Wyman is a college professor, reading specialist and best-selling author known as America's Most Trusted Learning Expert. Her daughter, who is now an medical doctor, had vision therapy to correct reading problems when she was 6 years old. Wyman feels this helped her daughter achieve her goal of becoming a doctor and has worked with thousands of children who have participated in vision therapy to improve learning, reading, their grades and more.
Further, Wyman has testified on better vision screening legislation for schools and written about the full effects of vision therapy as they relate to learning and reading.
Ms. Wyman is the best selling author of Spelling Made Easy: Learn Your Words in Half the Time; Amazing Grades: 101 Best Ways To Improve Your Grades Faster, Math Facts Made Easy: Learn All Your Facts in HALF the Time, and Vocabulary Made Easy.
Before taking the FREE Eye-Q Reading inventory, Wyman invites you to take the free Personal Learning Styles Quiz.
Can Visual Perception Problems Be Corrected?
Vision is a learned skill, like walking or talking. Most of us are born with eyesight but need to learn to use our eyes together as a team for good vision.
If your child's vision skills are untrained it often results in low reading comprehension levels or behavioral problems due to the frustration your child feels.
They may be told that they are not trying "hard enough" or "not concentrating", when in fact, their visual system is unprepared for the daily vision activities needed for proficient reading. They may even be labeled as ADHD, when in fact, vision therapy exercises could change how they see the printed page and suddenly, they become great readers.
Don't let your child suffer the embarrassment of poor reading skills.
Children must have both good eyesight and good visual skills to be proficient readers.
7 Common Reading Errors
Take this FREE Eye-Q Reading Inventory®
Answer these questions:
Does your child lose his/her place on the page?
Does your child skip lines?
Do they reverse words when reading out loud?
Does your child complain about reading?
Has your child been called Lazy? Inattentive? ADHD / ADD?
Do their test scores show that they are bright but still not doing well?
Does your child often become distracted when reading?
Do they seem to skip over punctuation as if it isn't there?
Does your child have 20/20 eyesight and still have reading problems?
Does your child re-read things they just read?
Does your child know the word on one page but not the next?
If you checked any of the boxes above, your child's reading problems are the result of untrained visual skills which vision therapy exercises can help.
The Science Behind Vision Therapy
Recent research in the field of neurology suggests that the human brain has a significant amount of neuroplasticity — the ability to change its structure and function in response to external stimuli. And these neurological changes in the brain, once thought to occur only during early childhood, have been demonstrated to occur in adults as well.
In one study, for example, experienced adult typists who underwent long-term training to improve their keyboarding skills demonstrated increases in gray matter volume in their brains, suggesting that learning affects not only function, but also brain structure.
Recent findings about neuroplasticity appear to confirm what many vision therapy experts have been saying for years: properly devised and administered programs of VT can cause neurological changes that can correct vision problems and improve visual performance.
Some experts say certain anomalies associated with vision development, visual perception or vision function may be affected by neuroplasticity. If this is true, it's likely these same vision problems may be successfully treated with vision therapy.
Symptoms of Learning-Related Vision Problems
Headaches or eye strain
Blurred vision or double vision
Crossed eyes or eyes that appear to move independently of each other
Dislike or avoidance of reading and close work
Short attention span during visual tasks
Turning or tilting the head to use one eye only, or closing or covering one eye
Placing the head very close to the book or desk when reading or writing
Excessive blinking or rubbing the eyes
Losing place while reading, or using a finger as a guide
Slow reading speed or poor reading comprehension
Difficulty remembering what was read
Omitting or repeating words, or confusing similar words
Persistent reversal of words or letters (after second grade)
Poor eye-hand coordination
Difficulty remembering, identifying or reproducing shapes
Evidence of developmental immaturity
If your child shows one or more of these symptoms and is experiencing learning problems, it's possible he or she may have a learning-related vision problem.
Before using any vision exercise program, we highly recommend that you take your child to a developmental optometrist for a comprehensive, vision-related learning exam so you know specifically why your child struggles to read, and to check for any eye-health, or visual perceptual problems.
You can find a doctor who specializes in this type of exam at www.covd.org or www.oep.org. If you have an infant, go to www.infantsee.org to find a doctor and listen to what former President Jimmy Carter has to say about his grandchild, who suffered with a lazy eye that was undetected during the typical eye screenings mentioned above.
Your child is smarter than their grades. Show them how to boost their self-esteem with the same strategies that the A+ students use. Do not wait until later in the year when they might be suffering with learning issues that they can solve today.