Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Vision Therapy - Helping Kids Succeed in School

One of the best things about being an optometric vision therapist is seeing the kids, who are my patients, become convinced that they can succeed at school. Often this doesn't happen until more than 4 or 5 weeks of therapy has occurred. Then, when I ask, "Are you noticing any changes when you do your school work or reading?" Usually they volunteer something like, "I don't lose my place as much." or, "I read quicker" or "the words don't go double anymore." Of course, when and what a child notices is totally related to the diagnosed deficit or learning-related visual challenge. Many times kids respond when I tell them that they need to learn to be the boss of their own eyes but that until that happens their eyes are taunting them by saying that they don't have to obey and, in fact, they can do whatever they want. After a few giggles, the kids begin to take a more active role in their own vision therapy.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Why a VT Patient Plans to Get Married

A high school patient with severe developmental delays came to vision therapy yesterday. My colleague was doing a perceptual activity using attribute blocks which was frustrating our patient. His way of distracting us away from vision therapy is to chat about anything and everything -usually sports, video game releases, and television programs. Yesterday, though, he was complaining that he had done poorly on a test at school. "What subject was the test in?" the therapist asked. "Personal finance," the patient answered. "Isn't that where you learn to balance your check book?" asked the therapist. "That is a really important class for you to do well in, right?" "No, I don't like doing it," said the patient. "What will you do when you grow up? How will you know how much money you have?" "That's why I'm going to get married so my wife can balance the checkbook," he responded.