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Vision and Learning

Signs a Child May Need Vision Therapy

1

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!

2020Colorado

 

 

 

 

 

2020 Eyes Colorado

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.
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    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.
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MyPerfectVision1

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.

 

See2Achieve: Virtual Reality, Vision and Learning at SxSW

See2Achieve: Virtual Reality, Vision and Learning

Why is vision important to learning?

Clear eyesight is just one part of VISION – we also need the visual skills of tracking, teaming and focusing so we know both WHAT and WHERE we see things in space.

This recording is of my son Cody’s eyes when he read a story as a second grader. Cody experienced double vision when he was reading, but had 20/20 eyesight.

He lost his place, re-read lines of print, skipped rows and made mistakes of similarly looking words.

What is it like to see with a vision problem?

Watch this video: 20/20 Isn’t Everything

IMG_3899 (2)

Can you make out 20/30? C Z D R V. Congratulations – you passed your school vision screening. Could you learn like this?

I am a parent classroom volunteer at my children’s elementary school. When I volunteered to help with the vision screening, I had a heartbreaking experience. I recommended that a student be referred for an eye examination – he had crossed-eyes (esotropia) and double vision. Before signing off on the recommendation, the district representative retested him and because he was able to read the 20/30 line on the eye chart 20 feet away when one eye was covered, she tore my vision examination recommendation in half.

After this experience, I truly believe that all children should have eye examinations – especially those with any signs, symptoms or behaviors that may indicate a vision problem. However, this isn’t happening. So, I thought – what can I do to improve vision testing with kids?

eyechart

Infographic by the College of Optometrists in Vision Development. For more information, visit www.covd.org.

How does Virtual Reality help detect Vision Problems?

3D testing allows assessment of the quality and accuracy of vision. It requires accurate tracking, teaming and focusing. Assessing depth perception aids in the ability to determine if the brain is processing the information from both eyes.

Depth perception: the ability to identify both WHAT is it? and WHERE is it?

contour-stereopsis-3

Simple tests can be randomized so that students do not memorize the answers while waiting in line at the vision screening.

photo 3We also use many visual perceptual skills (for example, discrimination) and eye-hand coordination for the responses. We can measure both accuracy and visual processing speed.

The VIVID Study (Validation of iPad Vision Diagnostics) is currently underway. My mission is to develop a practical, affordable and efficient way to use Virtual Reality to detect visual issues!

How does Virtual Reality help treat Vision Problems?

In the Boulder Valley Vision Therapy clinic, we use all types of 3D training, including virtual reality. Learn more about OPTO, for use in clinic. Opto_Video

What should I do if I am concerned there might be a vision problem?

Please seek out testing with a vision specialist who looks at visual function – not just the structure of the eyes.

To find a specialist in vision development and rehabilitation in your area, I recommend: The College of Optometrists in Vision Development: Locate a Doctor and the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association: Find a Doctor.

VL large

Virtual Reality – good or bad for kids?

Our reality is in 3D! That is why a normally developed visual system is designed to see spatially. We have highly visual brains – the neurology is amazing! Using Virtual Reality can actually increase understanding and learning.

IMG_3287

Learning to see in 3D

Having difficulty with 3D movies or games can be a sign of a vision problem. Learn more from the American Optometric Association: http://3deyehealth.org/.

Are vision skills adequate or OPTIMAL?

Do you know that your eyes move THREE times before you move? We need to switch from saying “hand-eye coordination” to “eye-hand” coordination. We only know where to move our hand because our eyes first TRACK towards the object, then the TEAM so that both eyes accurately aim at the object, and then we FOCUS to see the object clearly – all before we reach.

To have good skills at sports, we need good information from our visual system. We need to process this visual information FAST! We call this reaction time. Adequate or average vision is not enough to perform at our highest potential. We need OPTIMAL vision for peak performance. Learn more about Sports Vision.

Soccer

– Jen Simonson, OD, FCOVD

Wednesday, March 9 12:00PM – 12:30PM
Austin Convention Center Ballroom EFG

Healthy vision deeply influences a child’s achievement in reading, learning, success in sports and future career choices. Hear from both an educational technologist and a doctor of optometry and vision therapy as we show how virtual reality is fostering unanticipated benefits for vision health and learning; and how new mobile 3D technology is being used to screen for and improve early childhood vision with real results in the classroom. – See more at: http://schedule.sxswedu.com/events/event_PP49162#sthash.4kCH8QJT.dpuf

Dr. Simonson’s Blog

Keep up to date on Boulder Valley Vision Therapy center and current topics in functional vision care.

COVD Conference Poster

2011 COVD Case Report Presentation

2011 COVD Case Report Presentation

2015 COVD Annual Meeting Poster

2015 COVD Annual Meeting Poster

2009 COVD Annual Meeting Case Report

2009 COVD Annual Meeting Case Report

Colorado COVD Study Group 2015

Winter Colorado COVD Study Group

Date: March 15, 2015

Location: Mountain Vista EyeCare, 7761 Shaffer Parkway, #200, Littleton, CO 80127

Topic: Visual Perception and Cognitive Development (Section 2 – Study Guide)

Schedule:

12:30 – Registration
1:00 – 1:50 – Seminar #1 – Vision Development through Edina’s Eyes
2:00 – 2:50 – Seminar #2 – Vision Therapy activities for Preschoolers Part I
2:50 – 3:10 – Coffee Break
3:10 – 4:00 – Seminar #3 – Vision Therapy activities for Preschoolers Part II
4:10 – 5:00 Seminar #4 – Classroom Accommodations

Title

Presenter

Classroom Accommodations for Children with Vision Disorders

Jen Simonson, OD, FCOVD

Visual Development through Edina’s Eyes

Lynn Hellerstein, OD, FCOVD, FAAO

Vision Therapy Activities for Preschoolers

(Hands-On)

Boulder Valley Vision Therapy Staff: Gail Henry, COVT, Amy Zeiger, COVT and Becca Haydon

Additional Resources for Classroom Accommodations:

1. Classroom Accommodations Checklist

2. Classroom Vision Skills

3. Print size to Acuity Level

Additional Resources for Vision Therapy Activities for Preschoolers

4. Vision Development Checklists

5. Polly the Porcupine

6. Giant Pegboard

7. Red Green Toybox

8. Fat Cat Vision Therapy

9. Dr. Jen’s Vision Therapy Pinterest Board

 

CCIRA Course 115 – Reading Struggles? 20/20 Vision is NOT Enough

The 2015 CCIRA Theme is “Scoffolding Literacy for One and All – Colloraboration Celebration”. Dr. Simonson will be spoke on Thursday, February 5th from 9:15 to 11:15. Course 115 Reading Struggles? 20/20 Vision is NOT Enough

Jen2

Classroom activities:

Stroop Test (Color/Word)

Kirschner Arrows

Eyes on Track – classroom workbook of tracking exercises

Videos:
1. 20/20 Isn’t Everything: A child’s vision is critical to learning
2. McGurk Effect: Vision and Speech (what we see influences what we hear)
Helpful Links:
1.www.covd.org – The College of Optometrists in Vision Development
2.www.oepf.org – The Optometric Extension Program Foundation
3.vision-learning.org — The Vision and Learning Forum (Colorado-based)
4.http://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/resources-for-teachers – The American Optometric Association
5.http://www.3deyehealth.org/ — More information about 3D use in the classroom
February 4-7 at the Denver Tech Center
Denver Marriott Tech Center
4900 S Syracuse, Denver, CO

Brain Storm Handout

See to Achieve

There are children who struggle to learn due to undetected vision problems. 80% of Learning happens through the Visual System. 18 million children in American have not had an eye examination before entering school.

One out of four children has an undiagnosed vision problem.

70% of children with a learning disability in reading have some form of visual impairment, such as ocular motor, perceptual, or binocular dysfunction.

•— Children with impaired vision have greater difficulty learning, playing sports, limited possibilities for employment, increased morbidity or mortality due to accidents, and difficulty with psychosocial development.

Letter Reversals and Reading

The panq was going to blay in the qark. Bodqy’s father blayep the prum in the qanb. When the danb started to dlay, it pibn’t sounp goop. The qrum was off the deat. The danp stoqbed dlaying. Then Bopdy’s father lookep bown detween the qrums. There was Bodqy with a dig sqoon helding his father dlay the prums!

FOUR MOST COMMON VISION PROBLEMS:

  1. Delayed vision development
  2. Two-eyed (binocular) coordination and focusing problems
  3. Eye movement and tracking problems
  4. Amblyopia (lazy eye) and/or Strabismus (wandering eye)

What are vision skills? VISUAL ACQUISITION: FIXATE, FOCUS, FOLLOW & FUSE

Tracking – the ability to follow a moving object.

Fixation – the ability to locate an object.

Focus – Ability to see clearly.

Depth Perception – ability to judge distance.

Binocularity – the ability to use both eyes together and to fuse the information into one perception.

Visualization – The ability to form mental image.

WHERE IS IT?? Dorsal stream processing to the parietal lobe. (Direct connection to the motor system) WHAT IS IT?? – Ventral stream processing to the temporal lobe. (Direct connection to the auditory system)

School work requires VISUAL EFFICIENCY Visual demands: reading, copying, communication, comprehension

Eye Movements in the Classroom

What we see

What we might think

What is actually happening

Loses Place when reading

“Not paying attention”

The eyes are jumping over words.

Skips words or lines

“Rushing”

The eyes are jumping over lines of print.

Avoids Reading

“Not school-oriented”

Eye fatigue and frustration are avoided when not reading. This is a clever adaptation.

Has poor reading comprehension

“Not bright, not interested”

When words are skipped, the text does not make sense.

Discovering a Vision Problem

A skilled observer can spot signs indicating that a child may have a visual problem.

Your job is not to diagnose, but to know when to suggest a complete optometric examination. Note – This doesn’t mean just a health check and glasses check! Not all examinations are the same!

¡ You want to suggest an office that 1) works with children and 2) tests for all visual problems, not just medical problems

¡ For example, some doctors do not see a child until they are dilated. These medications paralyze the focusing muscle and prevent testing of near vision skills.

The ABCs of Vision Difficulties

Appearance

  1. Closing of an eye
  2. Eye turning in or out at any time
  3. Excessive blinking
  4. Squinting
  5. Tearing
  6. Redness/Swelling

Behavior

  1. Poor attention Span
  2. Poor tracking
  3. Poor eye-hand coordination
  4. Poor eye teaming
  5. Confusion of Shapes

Complaints

  1. Eye discomfort
  2. Headaches
  3. Burning
  4. Itching
  5. Double vision
  6. Dizziness
  7. Blur

Visual Perception = the ability to understand and remember visual information. It includes many skills: form perception, visual discrimination, visual memory, visual sequential memory, visual closure, figure ground and directionality

Signs and Symptoms of Visual Perception Problems: Mistakes words with same or similar beginnings, Fails to recognize same word in next sentence, Reversals

Count every “F” in the following text:

FINISHED FILES ARE THE RESULT OF YEARS OF SCIENTIFIC STUDY COMBINED WITH THE EXPERIENCE OF YEARS…

Delayed or Incomplete Vision Development

  1. A child may not be ready for the visual demands of the grade.
  2. This is not typically “out grown”
  3. Development may be enhanced with optometric treatment and activities, but will still progress through normal stages.
  4. “Amblyopia” or “lazy eye” is a severe form of reduced visual development. Vision therapy is the only possible treatment. (This includes active patching, the most commonly known form of vision therapy)

Strabismus “eye-turn”

Strabismus is a severe problem of two-eyed coordination in which the two eyes do not line up. They point in different directions and do not work together normally at least part of the time.

What would you do if you had a Vision Problem?

Options:

÷ AVOID (unmotivated)

÷ ADAPT (auditory learning, hold book closer, move head to read, close an eye, tilt head)

÷ COMPENSATE (reading lenses/bifocals)

÷ REMEDIATE

Remediation of Vision Problems

Lenses

¡ To compensate for a refractive error such as myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism

¡ To relieve stress on the near focusing system

¡ To prevent stress on the near focusing system

¡ Training lenses

Prisms

¡ To compensate for an eye teaming problem such as a wandering eye or vertical misalignment

¡ To change a person’s posture

¡ Training lenses

Vision therapy

Identification and treatment of visual problems is a continuing goal for doctors of optometry. Part of every optometrist’s training in all colleges of optometry is the treatment of visual problems by procedures called “orthoptics” or “vision therapy”.

Vision therapy is like physical therapy for the eyes and brain. We see with our brains and minds, not just our eyes.
Vision Therapy is that part of optometric care devoted to developing, improving, and enhancing people’s visual performance.
Vision therapy involves medically supervised programs of therapeutic procedures and the use of medically regulated devices, such as lenses and prisms.

Vision and Learning

An inefficient visual system may contribute to inattention, reduced classroom performance, and learning problems.

References

“Vision on Learning and School Performance” Oregon Optometric Association, 1992

•2. “Educator’s Guide to Classroom Vision Problems” Optometric Extension Program, 2000

•3. Your Child’s Vision: A parent’s Guide to Seeing, Growing, and Developing by Richard S. Kavner, OD, 1985

•4. Thinking Goes to School by Furth and Wachs, OD, 1972

•5. Vision, it’s Development in Infant and Child by Arnold Gesell, MD, 1970

•6. “Vision and Human Development in Infant and Child,” COVD Applied Concept Course, 2003

•7. Anomalies of Binocular Vision: Diagnosis & Management by Rutstein and Daum OD, MS, 1998

•8. Classroom Visual Activities: A Manual to Enhance the Development of Visual Skills by Regina G. Richards, MA

•9. Current Ophthalmology Vol. 4r3, No. f March-April 1999, “A Survey of Vision Screening Policy of Preschool Children in the United States”

AOA Optometric Clinical Practice Guidelines

a. Learning Related Vision Problems 2000

b. Accommodative & Vergence Dysfunction 1998

c. Strabismus: Esotropia & Exotropia, 1996

Vision Therapy Research Information:

Mayo Clinic researchers, as part of a nine-site study, helped discover the best of three currently-used treatments for convergence insufficiency in children. Children with convergence insufficiency tend to have blurred or double vision or headaches and corresponding issues in reading and concentrating, which ultimately impact learning. http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/545210

  1. Ciuffreda, Kenneth J. The Scientific Basis for and Efficacy of Optometric Vision Therapy in Nonstrabismic Accommodative and Vergence Disorders. Optometry 2002; 73:735-62.
  2. Cooper J, Burns C, Cotter S, et. al. Optometric Clinical Guideline: Care of the Patient With Accommodative or Vergence Dysfunction. American Optometry Association 1998.
  3. Cooper, Jeffrey. Summary of Research on the Efficacy of Vision Therapy for Specific Visual Dysfunctions. Adapted from The Journal of Behavioral Optometry 1998; 9(5):115-119.
  4. Maples WC. Visual factors that significantly impact academic performance. Optometry 2003; 4:35-49.
  5. Borsting E., Rouse M.W., et al. Association of Symptoms and Convergence and Accommodative Insufficiency in School-Age Children. Optometry 2003 Jan;74(1):25-34.
  6. http://www.visiontherapy.org/vision-therapy/vision-therapy-studies.html (includes 141 resources)

Vision and Learning Presentation

The ABC’s of Vision

Jen Simonson, OD, FCOVD

There are children who struggle to learn due to undetected vision problems. 80% of Learning happens through the Visual System

18 million children in American have not had an eye examination before entering school.

One out of four children has an undiagnosed vision problem.

70% of children with a learning disability in reading have some form of visual impairment, such as ocular motor, perceptual, or binocular dysfunction.

•— Children with impaired vision have greater difficulty learning, playing sports, limited possibilities for employment, increased morbidity or mortality due to accidents, and difficulty with psychosocial development.

Vision Disorders

What kind of vision problems are there?

What is it like to see with a vision problem?

How can you identify if a child may have a vision problem?

How can vision problems be treated?

What are vision skills? VISUAL ACQUISITION: FIXATE, FOCUS, FOLLOW & FUSE

Tracking – the ability to follow a moving object.

Fixation – the ability to locate an object.

Focus – Ability to see clearly.

Depth Perception – ability to judge distance.

Binocularity – the ability to use both eyes together and to fuse the information into one perception.

Visualization – The ability to form mental image.

What we see

What we might think

What is actually happening

Loses Place when reading

“Not paying attention”

The eyes are jumping over words.

Skips words or lines

“Rushing”

The eyes are jumping over lines of print.

Avoids Reading

“Not school-oriented”

Eye fatigue and frustration are avoided when not reading. This is a clever adaptation.

Has poor reading comprehension

“Not bright, not interested”

When words are skipped, the text does not make sense.

Discovering a Vision Problem

A skilled observer can spot signs indicating that a child may have a visual problem.

Your job is not to diagnose, but to know when to suggest a complete optometric examination. Note – This doesn’t mean just a health check and glasses check! Not all examinations are the same!

¡ You want to suggest an office that 1) works with children and 2) tests for all visual problems, not just medical problems

¡ For example, some doctors do not see a child until they are dilated. These medications paralyze the focusing muscle and prevent testing of near vision skills.

The ABCs of Vision Difficulties

Appearance

  1. Closing of an eye
  2. Eye turning in or out at any time
  3. Excessive blinking
  4. Squinting
  5. Tearing
  6. Redness/Swelling

Behavior

  1. Poor attention Span
  2. Poor tracking
  3. Poor eye-hand coordination
  4. Poor eye teaming
  5. Confusion of Shapes

Complaints

  1. Eye discomfort
  2. Headaches
  3. Burning
  4. Itching
  5. Double vision
  6. Dizziness
  7. Blur

School work requires VISUAL EFFICIENCY

Binocularity = Two-eyed coordination (teaming)

¡ Necessary to see CLEARLY, SINGLY, and COMFORTABLY

¡ Require maintenance of alignment and focus

¡ Typically identified due to a decrease in reading efficiency, comfort and comprehension. (they tire, complain, rub their eyes, and lose their place)

Problems most typically worsen as school demands increase. (Smaller print, No pictures, More words per page)

Signs & Symptoms of an Eye Teaming Problem: Gross postural deviations at desk work, Turning or tilting the head when doing near work, Covering or closing an eye.

Eye Movement and Tracking Problems

¡ Reading REQUIRES eye movements – smooth, accurate, voluntary movements (called SACCADES)

¡ Copying requires near to far eye movements

Signs & Symptoms of an Eye Movement Problem: Losing place easily, Difficulty copying from the board, Head turns as reads across the page, Skips words or lines unknowingly, Rereads lines of print.

How your brain reads:

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheear at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm.

Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs psas it on !!

Visual Perception = the ability to understand and remember visual information

Includes many skills: form perception, visual discrimination, visual memory, visual sequential memory, visual closure, figure ground and directionality

Signs and Symptoms of Visual Perception Problems: Mistakes words with same or similar beginnings, Fails to recognize same word in next sentence, Reversals, Returns to drawing with fingers to decide likes and differences.

Incomplete Vision Development

  1. A child may not be ready for the visual demands of the grade.
  2. This is not typically “out grown”
  3. Development may be enhanced with optometric treatment and activities, but will still progress through normal stages.

What would you do if you had a Vision Problem?

Options:

÷ AVOID (unmotivated)

÷ ADAPT (auditory learning, hold book closer, move head to read, close an eye, tilt head)

÷ COMPENSATE (reading lenses/bifocals)

÷ REMEDIATE

Remediation of Vision Problems

Lenses

¡ To compensate for a refractive error such as myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism

¡ To relieve stress on the near focusing system

¡ To prevent stress on the near focusing system

¡ Training lenses

Prisms

¡ To compensate for an eye teaming problem such as a wandering eye or vertical misalignment

¡ To change a person’s posture

¡ Training lenses

Vision therapy

Vision therapy is like physical therapy for the eyes and brain. We see with our brains and minds, not just our eyes.

Vision Therapy is that part of optometric care devoted to developing, improving, and enhancing people’s visual performance.

Vision therapy involves medically supervised programs of therapeutic procedures and the use of medically regulated devices, such as lenses and prisms.

What Can Teachers Do?

1. Enlarge Print

2. Allow Visual Breaks

a. Set up a reasonable contract to go out to recess

b. Heavy computer demand requires completely getting away for 15 minutes every two hours.

3. Allow Additional Time

4. Visualization

a. Powerful for spelling and comprehension

b. Teach to see the word “on the chalkboard in their mind”

c. Good preparation for sports and tests

d. Useful for creative writing

5. Chunk it down

6. Bookmarks, finger tracking along print, raised lines on paper

7. Reinforce with multi-sensory input

8. Teach the correct pencil grip

9. CORRECT READING DISTANCE = Harmon’s distance (knuckle to elbow)

10. Observe your blackboard or dry erase board from different angles in the classroom to see if there is glare

11. Avoid having students sit on the far edges so they have look at the board from the side

12. Take into account the size of your writing on an overhead projector

13. Be aware that some colors of markers are hard to see for some students

Vision and Learning

An inefficient visual system may contribute to inattention, reduced classroom performance, and learning problems.

Resources

1) The Colorado Vision and Learning Forum: www.vision-learning.org

2) The College of Optometrists in Vision Development: www.covd.org

3) The Optometric Extension Program Foundation: www.oepf.org

4) Parents Active for Vision Education: www.pavevision.org

5) Vision Therapy.org: www.visiontherapy.org

6) Binocular Stereo “3-D” Vision: www.vision3d.com

7) The American Optometric Association: www.aoa.org

References

•1. “Vision on Learning and School Performance” Oregon Optometric Association, 1992

•2. “Educator’s Guide to Classroom Vision Problems” Optometric Extension Program, 2000

•3. Your Child’s Vision: A parent’s Guide to Seeing, Growing, and Developing by Richard S. Kavner, OD, 1985

•4. Thinking Goes to School by Furth and Wachs, OD, 1972

•5. Vision, it’s Development in Infant and Child by Arnold Gesell, MD, 1970

•6. “Vision and Human Development in Infant and Child,” COVD Applied Concept Course, 2003

•7. Anomalies of Binocular Vision: Diagnosis & Management by Rutstein and Daum OD, MS, 1998

•8. Classroom Visual Activities: A Manual to Enhance the Development of Visual Skills by Regina G. Richards, MA

•9. Current Ophthalmology Vol. 4r3, No. f March-April 1999, “A Survey of Vision Screening Policy of Preschool Children in the United States”

•10. AOA Optometric Clinical Practice Guidelines

a. Learning Related Vision Problems 2000

b. Accommodative & Vergence Dysfunction 1998

c. Strabismus: Esotropia & Exotropia, 1996

Vision Therapy Research Information:

1. Mayo Clinic researchers, as part of a nine-site study, helped discover the best of three currently-used treatments for convergence insufficiency in children. Children with convergence insufficiency tend to have blurred or double vision or headaches and corresponding issues in reading and concentrating, which ultimately impact learning. http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/545210

2. Ciuffreda, Kenneth J. The Scientific Basis for and Efficacy of Optometric Vision Therapy in Nonstrabismic Accommodative and Vergence Disorders. Optometry 2002; 73:735-62.

3. Cooper J, Burns C, Cotter S, et. al. Optometric Clinical Guideline: Care of the Patient With Accommodative or Vergence Dysfunction. American Optometry Association 1998.

4. Cooper, Jeffrey. Summary of Research on the Efficacy of Vision Therapy for Specific Visual Dysfunctions. Adapted from The Journal of Behavioral Optometry 1998; 9(5):115-119.

5. Kushner Burton J. The Treatment of Convergence Insufficiency. Archives of Ophthalmology 2005, 123:100-101.

6. Maples WC. Visual factors that significantly impact academic performance. Optometry 2003; 4:35-49.

7. Borsting E., Rouse M.W., et al. Association of Symptoms and Convergence and Accommodative Insufficiency in School-Age Children. Optometry 2003 Jan;74(1):25-34.

8. http://www.visionther