We, in developmental optometry and vision rehabilitation, have been blessed by the collaboration between Susan R. Barry, Ph.D. and her optometrist, Dr. Theresa Ruggiero. ”Stereo Sue” has taken awareness of vision therapy to a different level because she is so articulate and passionate. Her contributions have centered largely on strabismus, binocular vision, and stereopsis. Today, another optometric vision therapy advocate has burst on the scene, and he has the potential to do for vision and acquired brain injury what Sue has done for strabismus. That individual is Cavin Balaster, and I became aware of him through the wonderful blog of his former vision therapist, Robert Nurisio, who received the Vision Therapist of the Year Award at this year’s COVD meeting in Orlando.
Cavin has his own website and youtube channel. Listen to this delightful podcast in which Cavin discusses his vision, and addresses vision therapy from the 16:00 minute mark through the 24:00 minute mark. But if you can squirrel away an hour, give the whole thing your ear and you’ll be amply rewarded. Cavin is articulate, passionate, and will be a phenomenal advocate for the role of vision therapy in acquired brain injury.
About eleven years ago at another Annual Meeting of COVD I was introduced to a young optometrist, Dr. Denise Smith, who had recently completed her Residency in Vision Therapy and Rehabilitation at the SUNY College of Optometry. Dr. Smith was bright and articulate in her own right, and Dr. Paul Bernstein discussed the possibility of Dr. Smith working part-time in both our practices. But she was a native Texan and decided to return to the Lone Star State to open her own practice, The Center for Vision Development.
Dr. Smith’s practice predictably blossomed, and she became a locally recognized authority in vision therapy and rehabilitation. After his devastating fall and injury, Cavin Balaster’s mother immediately flew in from Texas to be by his side. Saddled with double vision and a host of other problems, Cavin was making progress at the SUNY College of Optometry in regaining visual function. But it was time to return to Texas with mom so that she could more readily coordinate his care and recovery. That is how he came to be under the care of Dr. Denise Smith, and a very talented and dedicated therapist by the name of Robert Nurisio, COVT. The rest of the story is history in the making.
Cavin is in the process of raising $15,000 so that he can complete a project to produce an audio, electronic and print edition of his book, Lights, Coma, Action which will include his passion for the importance of patients receiving vision therapy, even if they must dig into their own pockets to do so. Please consider donating to Cavin’s cause through the link here.