Vision Therapy- Did it work? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 06-18-2010, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Good Morning,
My DD, Bella age 8, was diagnosed by a developmental optometrist yesterday with convergence insufficiency, insufficiencies in tracking and perceptual skilss and processing speeds, as well as difficulties with directionality and laterality. We will do vision therapy 1x a week plus 30 minutes of homework for 6-8 months.
I will know more about what we will be doing after our first session, but any success stories would ease my mind.
So, when did you see a concern?

Once you received a "diagnosis", how often did you do therapy?

How did therapy go?

If child is known to be stubborn, what did you do to encourage them to keep trying the exercises?

Any insights or thoughts are appreciated.

BTW- We are having her 2 yr sister tested this fall for a possible strabismus.

(I apologize if this is poorly worded, spelled, working on little sleep)

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#2 of 8 Old 06-19-2010, 07:42 AM
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Vision therapy was one of the best things we did for my son. Not the easiest but very good for him. He made gains in so many areas.

o, when did you see a concern? Well, a speech therapist suggested we get things checked out because she'd had another child who was receiving vision therapy and things about Andrew were similar basically. So I was clueless. He was 4ish. I see all kinds of things that I had no clue were related though--he couldn't catch a ball (convergence), had poor stamina for things like cutting and writing, couldn't steer his trike/car, had poor referencing (using his visual intake socially), and more. I just never dreamed it all meant anything.

Once you received a "diagnosis", how often did you do therapy?
He was very severe (hence not being able to steer, catch, etc.) in both convergence and tracking. They didn't feel they could really work with him in office so prescribed stuff at home. I did it every single day without fail and it was torture for both of us initially. I was so discouraged. After we'd made a lot of progress at home he went weekly as well for therapy. But I sat in on those sessions and I think the progress he made was entirely based on the home program the optometrist set up. He did assess and refine weekly or biweekly even when Andrew wasn't doing in office therapy. I was very consistent with doing everything they asked.

How did therapy go?
He couldn't even track for a second. We saw another therapist who had him tracking stuffed animals (so large stuff) for literally what seemed a portion of a second before he couldn't do it and slowly we tracked for tiny bits more time and then gradually smaller things. Suddenly I don't remember how far into the program he improved dramatically seemingly all at once. Convergence was similar but improved faster than tracking. I did do light therapy with him and I don't know if that had anything to do with the sudden improvement or not. But it was hard going at first.

If child is known to be stubborn, what did you do to encourage them to keep trying the exercises?
My son was resistant because it was really basically impossible for him. We had to find that "cusp" of he can do it but barely and even then it was a struggle. But he was I think harder than typical. I bribed him essentially. He earned a reward for doing the exercises. And beyond that we sat there together until they were done because even the reward wasn't enough at the beginning.
Any insights or thoughts are appreciated.
This might sound discouraging but I think my son was more severe than average. Our therapist said he was the worst he had ever seen. But therapy isn't fun but it was worth the struggle here.

BTW- We are having her 2 yr sister tested this fall for a possible strabismus.

They can work with the little ones too/good to have her checked!

Rachelle, mommy to 8 year old boys! 

My Blog-free homeschooling finds and my lesson plans and link to the new User Agreement

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#3 of 8 Old 06-19-2010, 08:23 AM
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I work as a special education teacher and a few of my students have gone through vision therapy. It made a HUGE difference for two of them, and little to no difference for the third. The difference, the first two families are really involved and the third family doesn't spend much time as a family. The child stays at school in extended care until 6:00 and often it is a sibling who takes him home. The family follow up and dedication to the homework and practice seems very key.
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#4 of 8 Old 06-19-2010, 10:47 AM
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Another success story for VT:

DS was 7 1/2 when the dx was made -- CI, tracking, fixation & peripheral issues were the primary deficiencies.

We started for the first 3 months doing therapy every other week, because it was a long drive for us to see the therapist. We had daily homework, and we were very diligent in doing the prescribed homework. Most of this homework was to strengthen tracking and his peripheral issues -- After that, we did therapy every week for the next 4 months to fine tune the remaining issues.

Therapy and homework was hard for ds initially -- it fatigued his eyes and was difficult to do, even though the exercises seemed fairly easy. One of the key things for us was that the dev. optometrist had a sheet for ds to fill out on what *he* wanted to accomplish with VT -- being able to hit and catch a ball better, being able to read without getting headaches, etc. This was really key for us because when he would balk about going to therapy or doing the homework, I could bring it back to the necessity of reaching *his* goals. And since we saw some immediate gains, I could show him the tangible progress that he was making. A younger child might not be able to articulate goals as well as an older child, but since your dd is 8, I would definitely try this to get her buy in. It's kind of like starting to work out to lose weight, knowing where your goal weight is and using that to keep you motivated when the going gets tough.

GL -- like a pp said, VT was huge for our ds -- I am so glad that we did it, and so is ds!

Laura - Mom to ds (10) and dd (7) "Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life." Brian Andreas.

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#5 of 8 Old 06-19-2010, 11:10 AM
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Our 7 yo has a diagnosis of amblyopia and convergence insufficiency. We did daily patching for six months to get his amblyopic eye to start working, and it did start working, but not together with the other eye. He has had ten weeks of VT with one practice and we are continuing another 6 months of VT with another practice (because the first doctor moved away).

When we started he had problems with eye movement control, focusing ability, eye teaming, depth perception, double vision, and tracking. When he tried to read he would see double, could not track across a line of text without losing his place or losing the line, could not see the spacing between words, could not see the different proportions of letters...he was really not capable of reading. The first ten weeks made a huge difference for him and most of those problems are close to being resolved. Now we've uncovered other reading (visual perceptual) problems that couldn't have even been detected before, because he couldn't see well enough for those to show up - but it's progress and it's made a tremendous difference in what he can do with reading and writing. So we will complete the full six months the new doctor is recommending.

He has a weekly appointment with a therapist that is 45 minutes with him and allows a few minutes for the therapist to go over the home therapy with me. We do the home therapy exercises 3-4 times per week and it takes about 30 minutes because he needs breaks in between the exercises.

When he first started, he was fine with the therapist, but at home with me he was resistant and would get tired and frustrated very quickly. I was asking him to do stuff that was really hard for him. I was also frustrated because I didn't really understand how some of the exercises were supposed to go. It took a few weeks of working with the therapist and asking questions and asking for demonstrations before we got comfortable with doing the exercises at home. The therapist also talked with him about how nothing they were doing in the office was going to help him unless he would also do the exercises at home. She also tried to incorporate some exercises that were fun, with cute pictures, so that I could alternate the fun ones with the "boring" ones.

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and 3 , in our happy secular
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#6 of 8 Old 06-19-2010, 05:19 PM
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I did vision therapy myself as a kid, for about a year. I don't know what my diagnosis was, but it really helped me. I don't have any vision problems now.

I went to the optometrist once a week, for the whole school year when I was in first grade, and was supposed to do the exercises everyday at home too. I actually thought that the exercises were fun, so I did them pretty readily, and I noticed improvements right away.
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#7 of 8 Old 06-20-2010, 11:56 AM
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Yes, it worked in that my dd went from the .1 percentile to the the 1st percentile. She started reading more about 6 months later, and a year after that was up to grade level. I do think it helped her eye track properly. She went 2-3x a week for 4 months, iirc. She refused to do most of the homework.

Now my second oldest daughter is in need of vision therapy, and although I believe it will help, I am dreading it because I will have to take all four of my kids with me, and in December, all five! We will only do 1x/ week, and I think I will be much more forceful about the homework.

Laura, mama to J (15), N (12), E (9) , M (6), and our little caboose, R (3).
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#8 of 8 Old 06-20-2010, 11:24 PM
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DS1 made some small gains with vision therapy. We did the exercises religiously every evening. He met the optometrist's goals, but it did not make much of a difference in quality of life. The funny part was that we pre-paid for 6 months of therapy, and the optometrist said that if DS1 needed a little longer to meet his goals, we would not have to pay extra...well, the optometrist ate his words: DS1 needed 10 months of therapy -- we did not pay anything for the last 4 months!

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