Vision Therapy is much more than just “eye exercises”. It is a progressive, sequential and individualised method of retraining how the brain, eyes and body work together to make better use of their eyes and visual information.
The program is overseen by an optometrist, and is designed to improve the dynamic aspects of vision. There are five key areas of function that Vision Therapy addresses:
Visual Motor Guidance and Integration (gross motor and fine motor)
Eye Tracking (ocular motility or eye movement)
Eye Focusing (near and far accommodation)
Eye Teaming convergence and divergence), or the ability to point both eyes accurately at the same point at the same time
Visual Information Processing (includes visual memory, visual form perception and visualization)
Visual attention: Fixation and the use of peripheral vision
Research has shown that a Vision Therapy Program is most successful when it includes a combination of in-office and home practice.
Each patient learns to use their visual abilities in new and more efficient ways through the use of lenses, prisms, and other instruments and specialised equipment.
To ensure successful outcomes, all of our Vision Training programs are tailored to the individual needs of the patient, identified during the evaluation process.
A series of exercises introduces your child to how to use their visual system efficiently as part of an active process. As the patient’s visual skills improve, their motor skills are further enhanced and automated through repetition, providing them with a better experience in life.
Our vision therapists are trained professionals whose aim is to guide and assist you through the learning process to maximise your success. This developmental approach to therapy, helps our patients to learn to move their eyes with precision, coordinate them with the rest of their bodies, and to think visually.
Vision Therapy at Mt Annan Eyecare is offered in 16 week terms. The visits are weekly, sequential, and of 30 minutes duration. The number of terms required depend on the individual needs of the child.
Homework: In addition, 4 sessions of 20 minutes homework need to be completed each week. This is the key to success. Vision therapy will improve symptoms far more successfully if the homework is completed. It is important to not expect instant results. Vision problems are often embedded patterns of behaviour and it usually takes several weeks of disciplined work to see the fruits of therapy. Working through a vision therapy program you will notice that it makes so much sense, i.e. you appreciate what you need to do to make the visual process more comfortable and automatic.
Vision Therapy is not a replacement for reading tuition, remediation, or phonic awareness training. It does not “cure” dyslexia, ADHD/ADD or academic difficulties.
Even something that appears as “simple” as an eye-teaming problem can have a dramatic impact on both children and adults. Available concentration is “burnt up” by the need to concentrate on the mechanics of seeing. Obvious symptoms are headaches, eye-strain or complaints of blur, or both. Many people tend suffer with less obvious symptoms like avoidance, concentration loss, reduced reading fluency.
Vision problems may be a primary barrier to learning or they may be a further burden to a child with other difficulties (such as a child with ADD). Hence, remediation and tutoring become easier.