Vision Therapy

“I don’t only look with my eyes, I see with my mind”
- Author Unknown

Vision is a key sense in the classroom and plays a major role in reading, spelling, writing, board and computer work. Students tackle these tasks all day long, day after day. Each requires the visual skills of seeing quickly and understanding visual information that is frequently less than an arm’s length from the eyes.

You may have clear eyesight or wear glasses to correct your sight, however that is not all that is required for close vision tasks. Students must have a variety of scanning, focusing and visual coordination skills for learning and for deriving meaning from reading. If visual skills have not been, or are poorly developed, learning may become more difficult and stressful. The student you know is intelligent, or able to excel in one subject but is not able to sustain this for long periods and transfer these skills to other areas in an academic environment.

Visual stress reactions can manifest in many ways and most of these can be reduced or corrected by learning better visual skills through vision therapy. These therapeutic eye exercises and activities are designed to improve the way the brain,eyes, hands and body work together.

Programs progress through a sequence of activities whereby the student develops and learns to control their visual system to ensure it operates more efficiently. Each student has individualised activities aimed at taking them from ‘can’t do’ through to ‘can do with effort’ to ‘automatic’. The activities are designed to remediate and integrate what the eyes are processing and help stimulate the brains neural pathways. Our goal is to improve reading ability (tracking), and distinguish letters and numbers better (where reversals are apparent).

Visual skills need to be an automatic process so that higher order learning/comprehension can occur. Prompt and early treatment of learning related vision problems enhances the ability of children and adults to perform at their full potential.

Symptoms of visual stress that can be assisted with Vision Therapy:

  • Reverses letters (b for d) or words (saw for was)
  • Uses marker/ruler/finger to keep place when reading
  • Re-reads, skips words or lines unknowingly
  • Fails to recognize the same word in the next sentence
  • Repeatedly omits ‘small’ words
  • Loses place when moving gaze from text to notebook or desk work to board
  • Writing up or down hill, irregular letter or word spacing
  • Misaligns digits in columns of numbers
  • Holding a book very close (only 15-20 cm away)
  • Constant poor posture when working close
  • Headaches after reading or near work
  • Blinking excessively when doing near work, but not otherwise
  • Rubs eyes during or after short periods of reading
  • Burning or itching eyes after doing near vision work
  • Occasionally or persistently seeing blurring or double while reading or writing
  • Poor attention span, drowsiness after prolonged work less than arm’s length away
  • Comprehension declines as reading continues
  • Homework requiring reading takes longer than it should
  • Moving head back and forth while reading instead of moving only the eyes
  • Holds head at an extreme angle to the book when reading
  • Covers one eye when reading
  • Squints when reading
  • Fails to visualize (can’t describe what they have been reading about)

The good news is once a vision therapy program has been completed, these visual skills that are remediated usually stay for life. This allows for quicker progression catching up on work that has been missed at school/university as the student can use their vision to its full potential to process information. A vision therapy program can be prescribed by our Behavioural Optometrist and is scheduled with our Certified Vision Therapists

Contact us now to experience the Sleeman Optometry difference.