Monthly Archives: August 2014

can vision therapy be done at home

Can vision therapy be done at home?

The Visual Learning Center offers
developmental optometry & vision therapy
near Silver Spring, MD in Olney.

Vision therapy is a treatment program designed to correct visual-motor and visual perceptual-cognitive deficiencies that interfere with learning. You can think of vision therapy (sometimes called vision training) as something akin to physical therapy for the visual system. Vision therapy helps children with learning-related vision problems develop or improve visual skills, abilities, and efficiencies.

The only way to properly diagnose a learning-related vision problem is by undergoing a comprehensive vision screening by a developmental optometrist trained in functional vision care. 

In a comprehensive vision screening, the doctor will use equipment such as prisms and Visigraph infrared monitoring devices that are not used in routine eye exams. During the exam, they will test for visual skills including:

  • visual perceptual or visual processing skills such as visual discrimination, visualization, and visual memory
  • accommodation facility (focusing)
  • lateral vergence facility (lateral eye alignment and speed)
  • vertical vergence ranges (vertical eye alignment)
  • eye movement while the child is reading or answering questions that require comprehension

If your child is diagnosed with a vision problem, an individualized vision therapy treatment program, under the supervision of a specially trained optometrist, can significantly improve or correct the visual deficiency.

At the Visual Learning Center, which offers vision therapy in Olney, Maryland, patients are prescribed an intensive program to treat their specific diagnosis. Each individualized program includes sets of exercises and activities to be done under the guidance of a trained vision therapist who monitors and tracks progress.

In-office sessions provide a controlled environment in which adjustments are made as needed. Some vision therapy exercises can be done at home; however, relying only on self-prescribed eye exercises can lead to eye-strain, discomfort, irritability, nausea, and exacerbation or regression of symptoms. So use caution, be patient, and monitor the child closely.

We strongly encourage patients who are under the care of a trained optometrist to supplement a personalized program or in-office treatment with additional practice at home.

The following vision therapy exercises can be done at home:

Discrimination Orientation Arrows (DOA) is a vision therapy exercise that develops visual discrimination — a skill essential in determining correct letter orientation.  

Children with poor visual discrimination skills tend to reverse letters, so this exercise mimics the process of selecting a direction for each letter while writing.  With practice, they will begin to catch mistakes faster and more easily, reduce the frequency of errors, and dramatically boost their self-esteem.

Watch the video below for a demonstration of the Discrimination Orientation Arrows activity in progress. Download your own activity board here.

 

The Stickman Activity aims to improve eye movement skills and visual processing skills.

Doing this activity can improve laterality and directionality, which are skills required for reading, writing and recognizing direction and orientation of words and letters. This activity can also improve figure-ground perception, which is necessary to distinguish an image or text relative to its context or background. Additionally, the activity can enhance visual concentration, which is a skill that allows the eyes to fixate attention for a long enough period of time to read and comprehend.

Watch the video below for a demonstration. Download your Stickman Activity packet here.

 

Letter Tracking Activities are designed to improve eye movement skills and visual processing skills.

Visual discrimination is a perceptual process that involves the ability to correctly identify basic features of a visual stimulus, such as text. Discrimination enables a child to see and identify shape, size, orientation, and color.

Poor visual discrimination skills cause a child to skip letters or words when reading and have problems with laterality and directionality.

Watch the video below for a demonstration. Download a Letter Tracking Activity packet here.

 

The letter tracking activity is useful to reduce writing and common reading problems caused by poor visual discrimination.

For vision therapy in Olney or Silver Spring, Maryland, contact us for an appointment.

Register for an upcoming webinar here.