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Vision Therapy is an effective, nonsurgical treatment for many vision problems that cannot be fully resolved with glasses or contact lenses.
Vision Therapy involves doing different activities designed to improve visual skills in which the patient is deficient. Each 50-minute therapy session occurs once or twice a week, and home therapy is done daily for about 10 minutes. Dr. Michael Cook, OD, FCOVD, your developmental optometrist in Lutz, guides each individual therapy program.
In addition to therapeutic activities, our therapy services involve specialized medical equipment and eyeglasses and contact lenses that are prescribed to improve reading efficiency rather than only to help see far away. With commitment, Vision Therapy can often permanently resolve vision problems that reduce a child’s ability to read, learn and even pay attention.
Good vision is about more than being able to read an eye chart. In fact, many children with 20/20 eyesight still require vision therapy because they have other issues that affect their vision. Therapy can help treat an array of vision problems, including deficiencies in:
Any of the above problems can result in learning difficulties. Because your child doesn’t know any differently, he may not tell you something’s wrong with his vision. Instead, he may be misidentified as lazy, slow at learning or having ADD/ADHD. Do you and your child have "homework wars;" is it a struggle to get them to read or to finish their school assignments? It's possible that they have a vision issue holding them back from achieving as much as they would like. Not being able to see the page properly makes homework and reading discouraging. Clearly, an eye exam with your qualified Lutz optometrist is critical for catching vision problems early so your child can begin helpful Vision Therapy and be the best student that they can be!
Still not sure? Click here to download a simple checklist. A score of 20 or higher may indicate that a vision problem exists and an evaluation is recommended.
The first step to any Vision Therapy program is a comprehensive eye-examination. Our doctor of Optometry will examine your child’s ocular health, determine if he needs spectacles for near or far visual tasks, and evaluate how his eyes and brain work together as a team. Whether your child complains of poor eyesight or simply exhibits slow learning, don’t delay their eye exam! What you thought was a learning disability could simply be an inability to see the whiteboard which in most cases corrective lens can fix.
If issues are detected that glasses alone won’t fix, our doctor will recommend a Binocular Vision Exam to evaluate focusing and tracking ability, as well visual processing and perceptual skills. The functionality of your child’s visual system will determine whether they can benefit from Optometric Vision Therapy.
If Vision Therapy is the recommended program of care, a Perceptual Evaluation will be scheduled. This evaluation is completed by our Visual Therapist and will help us to determine the specialized program of care that best addresses your child’s specific needs. After completion, we will have time to review the evaluation and go over questions that you may have.
After taking all the information from the previous steps, Dr. Cook and our Vision Therapist will present you with a Binocular Vision Report that will breakdown each part of your child’s vision and the impact it could have on everyday life. This report can be very helpful in explaining to teachers, counselors, employers, etc. about what is going on with your child’s vision and the necessary accommodations for them. Also, you will be presented with the recommendations for your/your child’s Specialized Program of Care.
Vision Therapy appointments range from 45-50 minutes in length and can be completed 1x weekly or 2x weekly depending on the doctor’s recommendations and your child’s compliance with home therapy.
If it is determined that your child will benefit most by a Specialized Program of Optometric Visual Therapy, the program will be determined, discussed and selected based on the Binocular Vision Evaluation and Perceptual Evaluation findings. The Doctor and Therapist will be happy to answer any questions regarding the design of the program that is best for the patient. Each program is specially designed by the Doctor and the Visual Therapy Staff to meet each patient’s specific needs. No two programs are the same. Time and commitment from the patient, the family and the staff are necessary to make them work.
Less than 15% of kids have their eyes examined before they start school. This is shocking when you realize that up to 80% of all learning occurs through vision! Knowing this makes you realize how crucial good eyesight is for your child to learn and progress in a regular classroom setting.
Bring your child to Visionary Eye Care so our Lutz Eye Doctor can perform an eye exam. If we discover there are other vision related issues to address, the staff at Visionary Eye Care can guide you and your family through a program of care that addresses your child's needs.
Please visit this link to learn more: WWW.COVD.ORG
Dr. Cook, Madison – Happy VT graduate and Regan - Vision Therapist
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