Wonderful to see the interview in which Dr. Debbie Walhof and I participated, Could Vision Issues Be Contributing to Your Child’s Difficulty With Learning? The article is a very timely one, particularly for the back-to-school season that is almost upon us. But it should be recommended reading for pediatricians, educators, and parents year-round.
Let me tell you a little bit more about Debbie Walhof, M.D., as noted on the NCLD website. First and foremost, she is a parent and believes that all children need to be in an environment that helps them blossom and be the best they can be. Her son Jack is 13 years old and has Dyslexia. It is a journey for him, their family and those involved in his education. In her words, “the field of education just likes the field of healthcare needs to undergo a paradigm shift: a shift that supports multiple styles of learning.”
Debbie is also a Pediatrician who specializes in Integrative Medicine. During the past 20 years, she has been involved in hospital-based, clinic-based, academia and community-based projects. Her work focused primarily on multi-cultural and underserved populations who present as “at risk” across many developmental and behavioral domains. Debbie also completed an Associate Fellowship of Integrative Medicine under the leadership of Dr. Andrew Weil. Her philosophy has always been to tweak the environment not the child, especially when it comes to the area of learning differences. She currently works as a Pediatrician at Kaiser Permanente in Santa Rosa, California.
If you look around on the NCLD website, you’ll find an article about VT by an educator, Dr. Sheldon Horowitz. There are a variety of comments under that piece, pointing out its inaccuracies. To help mitigate this, Dr. Horowitz amended his information to include a link to the new piece about vision therapy. He notes: “While vision problems are not the cause of dyslexia or other learning disabilities, vision issues such as convergence insufficiency can certainly interfere with learning and contribute to difficulties with attention and behavior. Behavioral optometrists are the ones who offer this therapy, with treatments involving in-office visits and exercises to do at home, and often, the prescription of low-power lenses.” Kudos to Dr. Horowitz for working toward a more balanced view of optometric vision therapy.
What I would suggest now is that you you encourage parents of children to go to the new interview with Dr. Walhof, and add comments regarding their positive experiences with VT. It is important for NCLD, pediatricians, and other parents to know about the many positive experiences that we collectively share. Lastly, share this link in your social media!
NOTE ADDED JULY 29, 2020: The NCLD website was revamped, and the article that Dr. Walhof and I co-authored was removed. However, the complete text of the original article is available here.