In this day and age of “Big Data” we sometimes get hung up on numbers. And who better to get hung up on that than Optometrists? It’s inherent in our name: Opto – pertaining to the eye and vision, and Metrist – one who measures. Particularly with children who have visual processing issues, we tend to administer “test batteries” that are quantitative in nature, looking at age norms or percentile ranks. But the qualitative portion is still what shows the powerful story that vision therapy can tell.
Take David, for example, on whom I just did a progress evaluation. We have been working with him weekly for the past six months, and a significant problem at the outset was visual motor planning and organization on the page. He had made significant progress through occupational therapy services. Before undertaking OT his handwriting was illegible. The feeling now was that his work with the OT had reached a plateau after several years. So we worked on a wide array of visual motor integration activities, emphasizing visual guidance and judgement using the usual array of lenses, prisms, pointer-in-straw, Wayne Saccadic Fixator, Sanet Vision Integrator, Neuro-Vision Rehabilitator, Perceptual-Motor Pen, Pegboard/G.O.Board, Parquetry Blocks, and so forth. (I like to say that the OT emphasizes hand-eye and we emphasize eye-hand.)
We re-adminstered the Beery VMI, and more impressive than the increase in score was seeing how he planned, organized, and executed the actual graphomotor reproduction. Here is his original Beery in June, and note on Figure 13 how much difficulty he had in representing the “Venn Diagram” of the three interlocking circlees.
Now here we are in December, the first time we repeated the test, and look at the difference:
Now take a look at David’s original reproduction of Form 17, the interlocking triangles. It shows classic segmentation.
Also take note of From 18, the circular array of dots. Note that David’s reproduction is a bunch of circles in a sort-of-circular fashion, but with no symmetry or inter-relationship of the array. Now take a look at his December version:
I called David over from the exam chair, together with his mother, and pointed out the “before and after” comparisons. Needless to say mom was very pleased, and David felt quite good about his performance!