What is your world view? Much of what we see is influenced by how we were raised, the developmental cards that we’ve been dealt, and our resolve in continuing to grow. The way you see the world, and your place within it, is continually being revised and expanded. These thoughts came to mind as I listened to a recent webinar featuring Temple Grandin, referring to the revised and expanded second edition of her book, The Way I See It. In the opening of her chapter on visual processing, Temple writes: “A child who can see his world clearly has a much better chance of benefiting from other therapies.”
This becomes an incredibly important point when you consider how many of the children we see have had prior or concurrent therapies, without having the benefit of a developmental vision evaluation. And it becomes clear, as you read Temple’s chapter on visual processing, that seeing the world clearly involves more than good eyesight. She refers to difficulty with eye contact and alludes to problems with integrating peripheral with central vision and then states unequivocally: “A regular eye exam will not find these problems. To correctly diagnose and treat visual processing problems, a developmental optometrist should be consulted. ”
I cited the passage from Temple Grandin to open a seminar that I did in Teaneck, New Jersey, yesterday. The attendees were an incredibly perceptive and participatory group of occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech therapists, psychologists and educators. By the time we were done with our seven hours of lecture and workshop, the attendees grasped the full implications of Temple’s message. It is a message that is being spread around the world, at the grass roots level, from parent to parent, within advocacy networks, and among caring professionals in continuing education venues.
– Leonard J. Press, O.D., FCOVD, FAAO