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Boulder Valley Vision Therapy

Vision Development in Children

Here are some helpful resources to learn more about vision development:

  1. The infantSEE program is a national public health service where a doctor of optometry (OD) performs a no-cost vision assessment of babies between ages of 6-12 months of age. The infantSEE program has great information for parents on their website:
  2. The American Optometric Association (AOA) has guidelines for testing and treatment of our little pediatric patients. Do you know the first eye examination should take place between ages 6-12 months and the second at age 3? The AOA Parents Center is packed with information. To learn about vision from birth to age 24 months, visit AOA Infant Vision.
  3. To learn more about preschool vision development, visit AOA Preschool Vision
  4. Dr. Lynn Hellerstein, a personal friend and colleague blogged about her granddaughter Edina’s Visual development at each age and stage. This great series includes videos, milestones, and observations. Learn more here:
  5. All about Vision is a helpful website for families to learn more about children’s vision:

I also highly recommend the following book for parents:

Active Baby, Healthy Brain: 135 Fun Exercises and Activities to Maximize Your Child’s Brain Development from Birth Through Age 5 by Margaret Sassé

infantSEE talk 2020

What does a baby see?

25 fio infant vision 002


Symptoms of refractive errors vary per individual and may include: – headache – fatigue – eye strain – squinting – blurred or distorted images, up close and/or in the distance

My colleague Sarah Lane, OD, FCOVD has some great videos on helping your child’s sensory (sight, touch, balance, pressure, hearing) and motor (movement of the body) systems development here:

Up and Down

Side to Side

I have hands


  • Dr. Jen Simonson, April 2020

Building Blocks: Vision Therapy for Young Children

Building Blocks: Vision Therapy for Young Children

Optometric Extension Program Foundation (OEPF)

Sunday, August 22, 2021 and Sunday, August 29, 2021

This is a 12-hour course spread over two subsequent Sundays 8-22 and 8-29

Course begins at 8 am Pacific, 9 am Mountain, 10 am Central, 11 am Eastern

with Dr. Jennifer Simonson



Learn about age-appropriate vision therapy procedures for preschool-aged patients from 3-6 years old. Discover procedures to build tracking, focusing, and binocular skills. Train on visually-guided gross motor coordination, fine motor skills, and visual information processing appropriate to the patient’s age and development. This course will cover optometric vision therapy for amblyopia and strabismus to decrease suppression and improve eye alignment and sensory fusion. Learn how to modify therapy techniques for young children and how to successfully sequence vision training.


Jennifer S. Simonson, OD, FCOVD is the clinical director of the Boulder Valley Vision Therapy Center in Boulder, CO. She achieved Fellowship in the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) in 2006. Dr. Simonson was the recipient of the 2007 Colorado Young Optometrist of the Year Award. She is currently serving as the vice-chair of the International Examination and Certification Board (IECB) and is the Speaker Chair of the Colorado Vision Training Conference. Her primary interests in practice include pediatric vision care, vision therapy, sports therapy, and vision rehabilitation. Dr. Simonson is the author of several picture books for children about vision therapy.

OEPF Staff Contact Ms. Line Vreven

Event Type Over the Internet or Online

Link Registration

Signs a Child May Need Vision Therapy


Children are often not aware that they are experiencing vision challenges since they don’t have a point of reference for optimal functional vision. This makes regular comprehensive eye exams important for children as they approach and advance through classroom learning.

Misdiagnosis of visual challenges is also common, and these visual issues can look similar to the following ADHD symptoms:

  • Reading issues
  • Poor attention span in school
  • Frequent mistakes
  • Difficulty doing and completing schoolwork

The best way to determine if these academic challenges are due to visual issues is to see an optometrist who will assess how well the child’s eyes work together. Additionally, some individuals who have ADHD also have vision issues that can compound the ADHD symptoms when not addressed. This makes seeing an eye doctor important to fully understand if vision therapy can assist in alleviating some of the symptoms.

Symptoms that may indicate a need for vision therapy:

  • Skips words or lines when reading
  • Rubs eyes when reading or doing near work
  • Closes one eye with reading or near work
  • Holds reading material close to face or tilts head or paper
  • Sits close to the TV
  • Headaches from reading or homework
  • Good word reader, but poor reading comprehension
  • Poor handwriting
  • Blurred vision when transitioning from far to near vision
  • Homework takes a long time or is highly frustrating
  • Short attention span for schoolwork or reading

Colorado’s doctors of optometry recommend a comprehensive eye exam if a child is experiencing one or more of these symptoms. Early identification and intervention are key in preventing impact on school performance and student confidence. Vision therapy can also help avoid or improve outcomes of surgical intervention. If you think your child may need vision therapy, call us today!







2020 Eyes Colorado

Career Opportunity Meeting

Job Informational Meeting/Initial Interviews

Monday, January 14, 2019 6:30 – 7:30 pm

  • Gain a better understanding about vision development and rehabilitation.
  • Learn about specific job requirements for the position of Vision Therapist

Interested in helping children and adults achieve their best through vision therapy? We are looking for a motivated individual that has a passion for helping others and has an attitude of learning. Training will be provided. The position is 3 afternoons per week and requires availability from 3:30-6:30 pm. Please send your resume and cover letter describing why you would be a perfect fit for our practice. Learn more about the services we offer at

Vision Therapy Picture Books – by Dr. Jen Simonson

420 BVVTDr. Jen Simonson is the author of a series of picture books to educate patients and parents of the symptoms of vision problems, specialized testing, and vision therapy treatment. These illustrated storybooks explain the common symptoms and signs of functional vision problems.




My Perfect Vision 2016

Book #1: My Perfect Vision describes focusing problems even when eyesight is normal. Learn about the differences between eyesight and vision and how this disorder impacts daily life and learning. Also learn about effective treatment through optometric vision therapy and appropriate reading glasses.

Many children and adults experience difficulty with:

  1. accurate clarity of focus (vision is blurry or fluctuates)
  2. speed of switching focus from near to far (difficulty copying from the board or switching between speedometer and street signs when driving)
  3. the ability to sustain focus for long periods (testing and computer work)
  4. Focusing difficulties are common after head injuries such as concussion and as a side-effect to many medications.


My Double Vision Cover jpeg

Book #2: My Double Vision tells the story of a patient who still experiences double vision even after a history of patching an eye. This picture book explains the signs and symptoms of esotropia (crossed-eye). It covers current testing methods and advanced vision therapy training used to correct this vision disorder. The goal of binocular (two-eyed training) is to achieve both clear, stable vision and 3-D depth perception.

Many patients with esotropia experience:

  1. double vision
  2. head turn or tilt
  3. crowding of print

    Mi Vision Doble
    en Espanol:Mi Vision Doble La visión doble (diplopía) es a menudo el resultadode la falta de alineación de los dos ojos.Normalmente los ojos apuntan al mismo lugar en elespacio. La dirección visual ligeramente diferente secombina en percepción de la profundidad. El objetivode la terapia visual es mejorar tanto la alineación delos ojos como la fusión sensorial en el cerebro.–Dr. Jen Simonson Mi Vision Doble (February 2018), the Spanish Translation of My Double Vision.




Book #3: My Jumbled VisionMy Jumbled Vision

If you fumble or take a tumble – your vision might jumble. Learn about the vision problems that often follow a concussion and how vision therapy can help recover clear and comfortable sports vision.

Mi Vision Confusa cover

Mi Vision Confusa en Espanol

Many patients with post-concussion vision disorder experience:

  1. light sensitivity
  2. headaches from reading
  3. double vision
  4. blurry vision
  5. Difficulty tracking





Book #4: My Mismatched VisionMy Mismatched Vision

When the image from one eye is blurry due to refractive amblyopia, the brain suppresses it – receiving and sending less signal to that eye. Our most progressive approach is to teach the brain to use both eyes together with vision therapy.

Book Order Form

My Perfect Vision is a story that explains what it is like to experience blurred vision and tired eyes – even when you have “perfect” 20/20 eyesight. Learn more about reading glasses and Vision Therapy through the colorful illustrations. This is a great book for children starting their Vision Therapy Journey. This illustrated storybook for children explains the common symptoms of focusing problems. Medically called Accommodation Dysfunctions, these disorders include difficulty with accurate clarity of focus, speed of switching focus from near to far, and the ability to sustain focus for long periods.
  • Billing Details

  • Please let us know if you would like item(s) shipped to a different address or if you want an autographed copy.
  • Order Details

    If paying by credit card, please submit form electronically and call 303-443-2257 to make payment. If paying by check, please mail payment to: Boulder Valley Vision Therapy 1790 30th Street #311 Boulder, CO 80301.
  • $8.00 per book when ordering between 1-19 copies.
    Price: $8.00
  • Bulk orders of between 20-49 copies are discounted to $6.50 per book.
    Price: $6.50
  • Bulk orders of over 50 copies are discounted to $5.00 per book.
    Price: $5.00
  • en Espanol
  • en Espanol
  • Price: $0.00
  • $0.00
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Dr. Jen Simonson is the clinical director of Boulder Valley Vision Therapy center. She is also a mother of three boys who love bedtime stories. She was inspired to write after realizing there were many books about getting glasses, but not about her passion – correcting vision issues through optometric vision therapy.


Colorado Vision Summit: Preschool Vision Therapy Activities

011 BVVT round1

Course Objectives:

  1. Learn about normal vision development in Preschoolers (ages 3-6)
  2. Identify delayed visual skills development
  3. Become familiar with the Wachs Analysis of Cognitive Structures (WACS) assessment
  4. Work-shop on Age-appropriate Vision Therapy Procedures
    1. Visually-guided Motor
    2. Tracking
    3. Accommodation
    4. Binocularity
    5. Visual-Perceptual
  5. Learn how to adapt common vision therapy activities to the appropriate level for this age group

Lecture Notes for the course:

Vision Therapy Activities for Preschoolers

Slides for the course:

Vision Therapy Activities for Preschoolers pdf

Motor Testing For other age groups (thank you Dr. DeAnn Fitzgerald):

BESS: Balance Error Scoring System BESS Manual

Gait Analysis: Evaluation of Stride/Walking and Running

Sources for Activities and Equipment:

  • From Lori at Denver Vision Therapy
    • Caren’s laser. We have purchased plexi-glass, foam parquetry pieces, and a feely box from her. She is very easy to work with and is happy to make any accommodations necessary.
  • Red/Green Toybox
  • Discount School Supplies


798 BVVT

Colorado COVD Study Group 2016

  1. Compensating Prism COVD study group 2-27-16 Dudley” – Dr. Leanna Dudley (presented by Dr. Simonson in Dr. Dudley’s absence)
  2. “Disassociating Prism – Bi-ocular Training Workshop” – Amy Zeiger, COVT, Barbara Nelson, COVT Cami Dowis, COVT, Becca Haydon, Carrie Mikelsons, Ashleigh Bouwman
  3. “The effect of yoked prism on ambient visual pathways – how pre-conscious vision affects binocular vision” – Dr. Mike Saxerud
  4. “Therapeutic Prism – Vergence Training Workshop” – Dr. Jen Simonson and Staff

Join this fun crowd for the 2016 Study Group!

Study Group for Vision Therapists and Optometrists:

COVD Study Group 2016 Flyer

February 27, 2016 8:30 am – 1 pm

Topic: prism, prism, prism!

8:30 – Registration and Breakfast
9:00-9:50 – Seminar #1
10:00-10:50 – Seminar #2
10:50-11:10 – Coffee Break
11:10-12:00 – Seminar #3
12:10-1:00 – Seminar #4

Location: Boulder Valley Vision Therapy
Bring: Drink or snack to share
This Study group should prepare you to answer: COVT Study Guide: Prisms
i. Compensatory ii. Monocular iii. Binocular iv. Disassociating v. Yoked

Recommended Reading:

1. Relieving Prism
2. Applied Concepts in Vision Therapy Dr. Leonard Press (Editor) OEPF
3. The Vision Therapist’s Toolkit Thomas Headline, Irene Wahlmeier, Vicki Bedes OEPF
4. Tools of Behavioral Vision Care: Prisms (Vision Therapist Vol 37, #4, 95/96)
5. The Rationale for the Use of Prism in the Vision Therapy Room by Dr. Rob Fox

Therapy Exercises from “Disassociating Prism – Bi-ocular Training Workshop”

Amy Zeiger, COVT, Barbara Nelson, COVT Cami Dowis, COVT, Becca Haydon, Carrie Mikelsons, Ashleigh Bouwman

1. Howell Phoria Card
2. Voluntary vergences
. Valenti Crossed Cylinder Rock Technique
4. Split Prism Ring Game
. G-560 Biocular activity
. Squinchel

Course notes for “Therapeutic Prism – Vision Training Workshop”
Dr. Jen Simonson & Staff

We used the idea that “Therapeutic” meant that you were challenging the visual system vs. using prism in a compensatory way.

The goal of these exercises is to use prism in order to improve sensory perception and oculomotor control.

Workshop Activities:

1. Prism Flipper Reading
P1030431Tool: Custom Prism Flipper
2. Prism Recoveries or Prism Rock
Magnetic Stick Prism Set
Vertical Fusion Target Set
3. Prism Rotations
4. Prism Bar Training
Combo Vertical and Horizontal Prism Bar
EZ View Prism Bar
5. BIM/BOP and BIP/BOM: prism flippers with accommodative activities or combined with +/-Lens Flippers Prism Walk-Aways
6. Prism with Stereoscope
7. Risley Prism
8. Monocular Prism: Spatial judgement, saccades
Monocular Prism Saccades 1
Monocular Prism Saccades 2
Just Noticable Differences
9. Monocular Prism: Manual of Esotropia Therapy
Great Video on #9:
10. Therapeutic Yoked Prism
Vision for Life makes lots of VT videos, check out this video for topic #10:


Contact Us

Will insurance cover this type of treatment?

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Visual perceptual therapy for learning issues or educational problems is not covered under health plans. Some health insurance plans may cover a portion of the evaluation and treatment if there is a specific eye muscle problem. We do not bill insurance, but will assist you in the process of seeking reimbursement.

Use the appropriate form below to reach our office:

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