The Sue Barry of Acquired Brain Injury

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.

DeniseAbout 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.

Denise Smith



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.

CAVINBOUNCESQUARE.mediumCavin 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.

9 thoughts on “The Sue Barry of Acquired Brain Injury

  1. Thanks for sharing links to my blog, Dr. Press. More importantly, thanks for helping to spread Cavin’s message. He is a fine human being, and his work in educating those who have suffered from ABI’s is invaluable. I am hopeful that his book receives the funding it needs, and as you have written, has the impact that Stereo Sue has had. Thanks again!

  2. Thank you so much for your kind words about my podcast interview with Cavin! It was an absolute delight to speak with him and to share his story. I was excited to talk to him about vision therapy. It was by far the most valuable, effective part of my TBI rehab a couple years ago. Cavin and I were both very proud and happy to go on about how great it is!

    • And thank you so much for conducting the interview. It was marvelous,and the given and take that the two of you had going made listening a pure delight. The fact that you were not only a brain injury survivor, but trained to be an SLP rehab specialist yourself, gave it an extra dimension. What a joy it has been to find you both, and thanks again for helping others learn about this well-kept secret of vision rehabilitation.

    • You’re very welcome, Cavin. We’re trying to figure out now how to pledge to the Lights! Coma! Action! project as a group ( Already did so as an individual, but we’re trying to do it as a group yet we don’t have a joint account. In any event, am encouraging everyone who reads this to pledge something!

  3. Pingback: Cavin’s Campaign | VT Works

  4. Pingback: No Two Brains Are the Same | COVD Blog

  5. Pingback: Adventures in Brain Injury – A Special Mention from Sue Barry on Psychology Today!

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