Vision and Learning…A Focus for The 2022 MVTSG

The Hilton DoubleTree Hotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan was the location for the Annual Michigan Vision Therapy Study Group (MVTSG) Meeting – January 28-29, 2022. With a focus on one of the most critical areas of Developmental Vision and Rehabilitation, the theme for this year’s Conference was Vision and Learning. 

The quality and depth of the presentations were exceptional with our presenters coming to us from around the State of Michigan, the US and Internationally. Setting the stage for the meeting was a comprehensive presentation by Dr. David Cook, on the topic of creating effective treatment protocols for vision problems that affect learning based on the developmental models of pioneer, Dr. A.M. Skeffington. Dr. Neil Renaud presented on understanding and communicating common mental health disorders that can be triggered by developmental vision problems associated with struggles in learning. There were examples involving conditions of  ADHD, anxiety and depression, but with proper treatment how these conditions could be helped and often remediated. Dr. Mohamed Moussa and Dr. Issac presented on how virtual learning and excessive screen time is associated with a variety of vision problems including progressive myopia and binocular and accommodative dysfunction that also lead to poor attention and reading and learning problems and more. Dr. Abeer Ahemd and Kadija Daw presented an extensive and dynamic model of vision therapy activities to improve the visual readiness and transfer to Math skill development. Dr. Steve Ingersoll presented a fascinating “top-down” approach to visual processing and reading and learning. Dr. Steve Curtis presented a “bottom-up” model for accelerating fundamental visual readiness that involved a multisensory integration model. Presenting Case Reports were resident doctors from Michigan’s College of Optometry at Ferris State University, Dr. Sophia Capo and from the  Illinois College of Optometry, Dr. Jeress Pendleton and Dr. Kelsey Trast, on challenging patients they’ve encountered with audience participation to discuss treatment strategies. Dr. Brad Habermehl, Associate Professor of Western University College of Optometry and MC of our meeting,  provided a lecture on pain management. And the Wow Vision Therapy Team –  Dr. Alyssa Parz, Dr. Alicia Bultsma, Dr. Sana Haque, Dr. Lester Efianayi, Connie Glanzer, COVT and Dr. Dan L. Fortenbacher presented an extensive model for diagnosis and treatment for visual processing, visual memory, visual imagery and visualization. The primary emphasis of their presentation was how to transfer the established visual development to one of the most elusive objectives for those who struggle with reading and learning, that being metacognition and executive function or the ability to set goals, plan, strategize, sequence steps, manage time, stay focused, multitask and have working memory to achieve goals and confidence. 

The Michigan Vision Therapy Study Group has a long standing tradition of meeting every year for the last 40 years on the 3rd or 4th weekend in January with a Mission to continue to grow in our knowledge, understanding and best practices for doctors and therapists in developmental vision and rehabilitation. 

Below is our photo gallery (click on the pics to view close-up and advance).

The legendary MVTSG meeting continues next year…and beyond. 

Dan L. Fortenbacher, O.D., FCOVD



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