Vision Therapy can be a very powerful tool for motivated people of all ages to improve and enhance their visual performance, but Vision Therapy can be particularly helpful for young children who are beginning or journeying along the academic road. Often it is not until children begin to read that we first notice they have a visual problem.
Because they are now using their visual system more intensively to tune in to small detail, the extra effort required can cause blurriness and discomfort with some children whose focusing skills are not yet fully robust or mature. Sometimes training is necessary to help children to learn to use their eyes comfortably and effectively.
But in order to read comfortably and with good comprehension, the visual system needs to perform several functions other than just making sure that the letters are clear. For example, visual memory is required for word recognition and ‘board to book’ copying. Visual discrimination skills, visual span, sequencing and visual spatial awareness all help to decipher and interpret a series of letters on a page. Visualization or being able to see ‘in the mind’s eye’ is essential for reading comprehension and spelling.
Difficulty with early learning can be associated with weakness in any of these ‘visual information processing’ skills.
Vision Therapy is a sequence of activities designed to improve and re-train the way that the brain, eyes and body work together. While it is the case that many visual problems are corrected with aids such as glasses or contact lenses, other visual functions and skills require a different approach. Vision Therapy can be used to improve eye coordination and tracking, improve eye teaming and binocularity, improve focusing flexibility (changing focus from near to far) and change how a person processes or interprets visual information.
At COADY DAVENPORT OPTICAL, Rebekah offers personalised office/home-based Vision Therapy programs designed for different visual problems. These include programs for children and adults with ’visual efficiency’ problems such as focusing issues and other eye-teaming problems.
Other programs are designed primarily to improve visual information processing (how we process what we see).
For any Vision Therapy program to be effective, good motivation and compliance is ESSENTIAL. With young children, this means that an adult must be available to ensure daily practice is maintained, at least 5 times per week for 20-30 minutes. A course can run from 6 weeks to 6 months, with regular in-office reviews. Rebekah can adjust the program for what will work for you and your child.
Benefits of Vision Therapy
Typical improvements noted as a result of a Vision Therapy program include:
- improved concentration
- increased interest in reading, along with better comprehension and speed
- improved focusing ability and control
- reduction or cessation of eyestrain or headache symptoms associated with visual tasks
- improved depth perception
- clearer vision
- improved peripheral vision awareness or spatial awareness