Vision Therapy = Vision Empathy


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If you’re a regular read of the blog you know that in addition to having patients complete a “Success Story” upon completion of optometric vision therapy (a key element we learned through our visionhelp group many years ago), we are just as interested in learning how the patients is faring one year after completing therapy.  As I recall, the one year “post” concept was something that I learned awhile back from Dr. Ken Gibson through his processing skills program.

In today’s mail we received a copy of a one year narrative survey from a college student that was so touching, I just had to share it with you.  Beautifully written in both form of hand and concept, it speaks for itself.  In case you’re reading it on a small device, here is the text:

“I am so grateful for the improvements I’ve experienced in my reading, reading comprehension, and overall academic confidence.  One year after vision therapy, I grew a love for reading for fun and achieved acceptance to graduate school.  Thanks to the improvements in my reading capability, I will begin physical therapy school this summer with excitement to learn and give it all I’ve got!  I look forward to being an advocate for my patients as my vision therapists were for me.  Thank you!!”

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4 thoughts on “Vision Therapy = Vision Empathy

  1. She Reads, She Reads.

    A Mother’s Journey through Vision Therapy

    My daughter started presenting with literacy challenges and oppositional behaviour around year 1-2. I always thought it was just not her strength, after all, she was a highly creative and constructive child, reading would probably not be her passion. She started to complain she couldn’t read things, and the board was frequently fuzzy. Every Optometry appointment resulted in better-than-perfect 20/20 vision. I became perplexed with poor NAPLAN scores, night-time tantrums associated with self-reading in bed, and complaints about the text being too small. Her behaviour was diminishing as her after school fatigue was rising, her oppositional defiance and clever avoidance strategies increased over any form of homework. I pulled out my parenting incentive systems with the “big-gun” rewards. Failure. The pain was too great for her to be motivated. I saw a 10 year-old girl slipping into a disinterested mild depressivestate.

    In year 5, I reluctantly asked for the school Educational Psychologist to assess her. No, not my child. One of the recommended strategies was Behavioural Optometry, in particular, Mark Falkenstein, a leader in the field. I knew I was on the right path when I completed the initial assessment questionnaire. My daughter displayed the majority of infant and childhood symptoms, including some surprise,s like difficulty learning to ride, and lengthy time to determine her right or left handed dominance. We followed two and a half terms of weekly vision therapy, with daily eye exercises. It was not an easy process with an already fatigued nonchalant child having tantrums doing eye exercises, and two other children to manage. We didn’t see instant results, and I felt confused throughout the process, questioning the gifted therapist several times. Our super positive therapist whole-hearted believed in the process. I persevered. Midway testing showed improvements, but I didn’t see any behavioural change, and that was my greatest concern. We stopped after 25 weeks, although I wasn’t convinced she was 100% there.

    It was three months later, the beginning of year 6, she came home from school proudly showing me the new exciting books she’d found in the library to read. She hadn’t borrowed a book from the school library for a year. She just didn’t like any of the books. Nope. Only year 2 chapter books with large text. She eagerly lay in bed with her books. She read. She laughed. She actually enjoyed reading them. I would walk past her room and see her lying on the floor, just reading. She cheerfully took books to school to read in class. She participated in a reading challenge for the first time. I cried.

    Now 11, my daughter entered year 6 with a complete about turn in her attitude, motivation and enjoyment. She does her homework, participates in class, and reads. Her teacher says, “she is just flying.” After six months of completing therapy, her eye tests revealed eye functioning higher than average. I just knew the result before Mark even told me, based on the changed, happy girl that sat before me. A one-year turnaround.

    By the way, we never pursued any of the other recommendations from the Educational Psychologist; we had no need.

    Now, I see a girl with passion, motivation, and opportunity to become the creative, dynamic girl she deserves to be. Every parent’s wish for their daughter. Thank you, Mark. She reads.

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Dear Len,

    I always enjoy reading your blog. This one really is so touching. Thanks for sharing.
    If I wouldn´t bother you, could you send me the “one year post concept” letter that you are sending your patients.

    Thank you in advance and take care.

    Joe

    Josef Thiel

    Institut SEHEN
    Vision Care Center
    Brühlmoosweg 5
    D – 88138 Weißensberg

    tel.: +49-8389-99 99 797
    mobil: +49 151 400 67 888

    thiel@institut-sehen.de
    http://www.institut-sehen.de

    • Thanks for being a regular reader, Joe, and for the kind words. The one year post concept is simply the sheet you see here, and that we mail to patients. It has the two sentences introducing that it has been a year since they completed therapy and asking them to share their experiences with us regarding how the last year has gone.

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