Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Seeing Through New Eyes, By Melvin Kaplan

This book that promises to be able to "change the lives of children with autism, Asperger syndrome, and other developmental disabilities through vision therapy" intrigued me from a number of perspectives. I am an optometric vision therapist so I work with this patient population on a regular basis. I found Kaplan's clinical notes and case studies to be rich with insight as well as technique that I can adopt with some of my patients immediately. I am the aunt of 3 children whose symptoms fall along the autism spectrum so I was interested in whether Kaplan's material would be presented in layman's language. It is. Recently I wrote a series of three books about learning-related visual skills for home schooling families, the Eye Can Too! Read series and have been asked to consider writing a book in the same series to give the home schooling parents of special needs children a series of visually reliant academic activities that they can use. Kaplan's book would definitely be included on my resource list should I end up writing the fourth book. Kaplan's vision therapy evaluation tools for non-verbal patients are great and his explanation of the therapeutic use of yoked prism glasses (while sounding quite mysterious to the uninitiated) is well documented and easy to understand. My only negative comment is that the book takes a long time to read even knowing the terms and activities as I do. However, anyone who wants to understand why some children rock, flap the air, or utilize other stimming behaviors to make sense of their world will gain both empathy and hope that these socially challenging habits can be adjusted by reading Kaplan's book. Well done.

Kaplan, Melvin. Seeing Through New Eyes. Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Philadelphia, London. 2006

No comments: