View Full Version : Vision Therapy

Kendra AU
07-17-2012, 09:36 AM
Can anyone talk to me about this?

I'm pretty certain my child needs this, & at this time I'm not sure if anyone in my area can help me. If you've done vision therapy with a Dr before can you explain to me how it worked? If you've done it at home, can you tell me what you used?

Shelly L
07-17-2012, 10:47 AM
We did this for our daughter a few years ago, and felt it was successful. First we found out who in our town did 'vision therapy.' I believe there is a certification or license for it, so it is easy to search for who has that licensing/training, etc.

After an initial eye exam, which included a lot of vision therapy-type exercise on paper, a series of appointments were scheduled for the actual therapy. It was actually quite fun for my daughter, who looked forward to it! There were a variety of exercises, some using computer, some involving lying on the floor while the therapist held a ball above her eyes on a string. She had to follow the ball visually as it went in circles either direction, back and forth, etc.

OUr daughter's main issue was eye tracking. If she saw the word "often" in text, for example, she would try to start it with "f", since that letter stood out to her as she visually 'jumped ahead' in the text.

We did see success after vision therapy. I think it aided us in getting back on track for reading practice, and the continued reading at home helped her improve. She still is not a 'fast' reader today, but improving still.

I did start out doing this at home, with a ball for that purpose that my friend loaned me, and also with 'figure 8s' in the air for her to follow her own thumb, etc. For additional information and resources, I highly recommend Diane Craft's website and books, which you can also link through HSLDA.

I'm sure many moms on here have experience with it, and can probably articulate it better than I can, as we only had to spend about a summer or so on it.

Hope this helps, and I would mainly say -- there is hope! If you have to do it at home, I know you can do a great job once you have the information and tools!

07-17-2012, 04:12 PM
We are half way through VT right now. My 10 yo dd needs 24 sessions, we have about 9 to go. She was diagnosed by a developmental optometrist. We go weekly for 1 hour and basically the therapist gives us exercises to work on for the week. We practice 6 days a week for about 30 minutes. Unlike Shelly's dd, my dd HATES it but I think that is b/c it is really hard for her. We have had amazing results. My dd is dyslexic and dysgraphic and reading and writing are just plain hard for her. Her writing is horrible, barely legible. Just last night, she won an art contest at our pool. 4 months ago she could not even trace an image well on paper and last night she did an amazing drawing of an eagle free-hand. :clap: Dd has also gained 2 years of reading this year thanks to VT and intensive phonics tutoring.

I don't know of any home programs but if you had some guidance it would be easy enough to do at home. I second Dianne Craft's book, Brain Integration Therapy. Her exercises are very similar although Vision Therapy does go more in depth. Also, rhythmic handwriting has worked wonders for my daughter which you can definitely do at home. There is a great website, www.eyecanlearn.com that our VT uses all the time with my dd.

I hope this helps. VT has been a life changer for us.

Julie in AZ
07-17-2012, 07:04 PM
I sent you a pm, but in case anyone else needs the info. the program that worked wonders for my ds (saving us $4000) was Dianne Craft's Brain Integration Therapy Manual (http://stores.diannecraft.org/Detail.bok?no=64).

ETA: Looks like I wasn't the first to suggest it! ;)

Kendra AU
07-17-2012, 09:34 PM
Thank you, all of you.

Here's my situation:

My child is struggling very badly. We've had him in & out of different eye people for a while. Everyone says his vision is fine, which has led us to ask what's going on. They don't have answers. God led me to reading about Vision Therapy this week.

It was a shocking discover to see my son's problems written out by other people & know there was a way to help him. I was utterly amazed. Now the hard part starts, finding someone in my area.

The places I've looked didn't have anyone in my area. We live, as most of you know, in Tasmania which is a small island off the base of Australia. It's not full on Island life, but it's pretty darn close. When my husband laments he needs to move to an island I always laugh & point out we are all ready on one.

I have sent out a lot of calls & emails this morning & am waiting to hear back. Once i hear back from all the people I've contacted dh & I will have to make a prayerful choice as to which route to go. I'd covet prayers that we make the right choice, that being the one that will most help our child who is frustrated.

Shelly L
07-17-2012, 09:55 PM
:group: :group: Keep us posted, Kendra! I really want to encourage you that if you have to 'go it on your own', at least at first, you are quite capable! I'll be anxious to hear what you find out.

Kendra AU
07-17-2012, 11:11 PM
Thanks Shelly, I got an overwhelming amount of responses from the Aussies. They've also suggested something called Ilen lenses. I'm certain someone on these boards posted about them before, but I can't remember who aside from Leanne from NZ :lol:

Sally in Oz
07-18-2012, 02:39 AM
Sounds like you might have enough information to go with now... However just wanted to add that in Australia what you are looking for is a developmental optometrist.

Quite amazingly I only know this because we had a big discussion about it at the end of last term at my homeschool group.

No idea about Tasmanian options but it seems there are a few that are highly recommended by my group in Melbourne. There is also a workbook put out by a lady in Western Australia that helps with kids having vision associated reading difficulties. I meet with the ladies on Friday so will ask again what the title is. Apparently it can be bought from book depository

Kendra AU
07-18-2012, 03:47 AM
Thanks for that Sally. Tasmania was only turning up Physiotherapy for eyes & I couldn't quite work that one out. Just before popping in here I emailed a Dr from Melbourne who is a developmental optometrist. Prayerfully I'll hear back from him. He & his wife's names were listed on the therapy website I first discovered the information I needed on.

Do you know if it's covered under Medicare? It doesn't matter, but I am curious. We once sought out Allergy testing for one of the boys & our Dr told us that because it was covered, but he wasn't sure if he had anyone in Tassie who could do it, that MC would pay to sent a parent & child to Melbourne. I asked him if the whole family could be tested. :lol:

Sheryl in NH
07-18-2012, 07:00 AM
A bit of unsolicited advice... Feel free to completely ignore me, but I thought I'd throw this out there.

My oldest went through vision therapy, and it helped, a little.
Then we found a really great Orton-Gillingham reading program (Barton, but this isn't a push for any particular curruculum) and that has made all of the difference in the world.

Our reading program is expensive, but nothing in comparison to the VT that we went through.

If I had it all to do over again, I would invest in materials specifically designed for struggling readers BEFORE (or at least, at the same time as) getting started in VT. I waited, thinking that VT would be enough to make a big difference in her reading level, and I regret loosing that time.

Kendra AU
07-18-2012, 07:50 AM
:group: Thanks Sheryl. He knows how to read, I would say he was a struggling reader, but like you, we forked out for a rather pricy reading programme & he lept forward hugely. He's simply not at grade level & it's because of blurriness & word jumping. There's a lot of other stuff going on, but if my endeavors turn nothing else up, I will most certainly come back & look into this! :)

Sally in Oz
07-18-2012, 11:41 PM
. Do you know if it's covered under Medicare? It doesn't matter, but I am curious. We once sought out Allergy testing for one of the boys & our Dr told us that because it was covered, but he wasn't sure if he had anyone in Tassie who could do it, that MC would pay to sent a parent & child to Melbourne. I asked him if the whole family could be tested. :lol:

I don't know for sure, but my guess is probably not. My understanding is that if you are on a health care card (or equivalent) then you can get basic eye tests and basic glasses included under Medicare. If you do not fall into that category then you either pay yourself or it is covered under private health insurance extras. Optometrists are not viewed as doctors and therefore are not automatically covered like other 'specialists'

Also, thought I would add that I used coloured lenses when I was in Primary School. I only have vague memories of it, but I think it was because I was getting so many headaches... I stopped in high school, probably because it was embarrassing, but I don't have a problem with my eyes and/or headaches at all now. Not sure if that meant I grew out of it, or perhaps I didn't need it in the first place. It was suggested to my parents by my music teacher who found them to be really useful.

Amy Joy
07-19-2012, 01:39 AM
I have a friend with irlen lenses. Ironically he's from NZ. His lenses are yellow. A quick way to see if these might help at all is putting colored cellophane over the page he is reading and see if it stops the words from jumping around. you will probably need to try several different colours (yellow, red, green, blue) to see what works best for him.

Kendra AU
07-20-2012, 07:16 PM
Thanks Sally. I didn't figure a specialist would be either, all though I've been told to try and go through THEAC to get help. The theory being that if a child was in PS he might have specific therapies available to him, if a home educator had those available for him I'd need to go through the Home Ed council. Our is only open on Tuesdays & Thursdays though so I've not been able to get in touch yet. Thus far all the eye visits we've had have been covered with Medicare, I keep waiting to get a call or letter from them to ask why our child is being seen so much though. :unsure:

Amy, now that's a clever idea with the cellophane. He complains that he can't focus as well with the white background which made me wonder how I could darken the book. Hmm, not exactly sure where I'd acquire the stuff though. :lol:

I actually think there's a lot going on with him.. when we read together I keep track of his place with a bookmark being under the row we are reading, if I move that too soon there's too many words jumping around at him. We read a long chapter in his book together yesterday afternoon & he said that the word jumping thing only happened to him once but it felt like the words had lept off the page & were going in a circle around his head. He's never complained of that much movement before.

Sally in Oz
07-21-2012, 01:52 AM
Amy, now that's a clever idea with the cellophane. He complains that he can't focus as well with the white background which made me wonder how I could darken the book. Hmm, not exactly sure where I'd acquire the stuff though. :lol:

Not sure if it is still readily available as things have moved to powerpoint slides, but when I needed to have coloured backgrounds to stop the glare from the white, we bought the plastic sheets that are used on overhead projectors. They came in a whole rainbow assortment of colours. This would work better than cellophane as they are study and crease-free

Katherine in CA
07-30-2012, 04:54 AM
My ds is now undergoing vision training, just as his sister did 12 years before him!

Have you seen these websites?




Here's one of two computer programs that we had to purchase to use at home, along with the bimonthly office visits and the prescribed daily at-home assignments:


Praying, Kendra, that you'll be led to the right solutions for your son! :group: