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Children are wonderful learners, and vision is a learned ability. Most of our children learn to see, track, merge the two eyes, and process visual information quickly and easily.
So what about children that have issues with learning? What about those who get tired when reading or doing homework? Are they really just lazy? My answer is a resounding NO! Any student who makes excuses for not doing near tasks or who is not performing to their potential has an essential problem that is causing the deficit.
Sometimes the problem is as simple as s/he is nearsighted or farsighted, therefore cannot see things that other students can. Remember that a child assumes that everyone sees like s/he does, so very often there is no complaining about blur or double vision. When words move around on the page, it makes them hard to read, so a child assumes that s/he is not as smart as the child in the next seat that can read them.
Sometimes the problem isn't what they see, but what the brain does with what they see. These processing and perceptual skills are also a learned trait. The good news is that there is a solution: Vision Therapy.
Vision therapy asks the muscles of the eye to point the eyes to the same target at the same time. It asks the brain to remember and recognize shapes and images. It creates artificial situations that allow the patients to “practice” skills that they have yet to master. Balance, hearing, and proprioception (touch) are integrated in our therapy. One of the keys to success in working with younger patients is instilling in them an understanding of the power of mastery they have over their own bodies. Most of us take for granted that the body will do what we tell it to, but these young people actually have to learn that self-direction. When they do, the side effect of success in therapy is a feeling of confidence. The child now knows where the soccer ball is, where the letters are on the page and in what sequence they appear. The changes are dramatic and each success builds on the other, boosting performance in every arena of life. Inez, our therapist is excellent at helping children be clear on what they need to do in the weekly session and for homework exercises. Because we demand home therapy practice and because she can get them to understand their tasks, we have a very high, quick graduation rate.
For more information, please call us and we would be glad to answer any questions you may have.