Tag Archives: vision therapy activity

Vision Therapy: How to Improve Vision Skills at Home

Vision Therapy helps children with functional vision problems, often resulting in dramatic improvement in their ability to overcome the visual deficiencies and the special challenges they face. With the help of vision therapy, children with vision disorders experience significant improvements in reading, writing, spelling, math, classroom behavior, sports, social skills, and more.  

To learn more about functional vision problems and vision therapy watch this webinar for parents.

Effective vision therapy includes an individualized and intensive program, in which patients work closely with trained therapists under the supervision of an optometrist who specializes in developmental and functional vision care.

One-on-one attention allows for immediate feedback that enables your child to actually recognize the difference in his or her performance, quickly improve self-esteem, and make significant progress in a relatively short period of time.

Your child’s vision therapy program should target and train skills that are most likely to have an impact on the unique learning and academic difficulties he or she is facing. The immediate goal should be to develop meaningful skills that will be used in daily activities, so that they will retain skills over the longterm.

Once you notice the improvement your child makes in vision therapy, you may wonder what you can do to enhance their progress at home.

At the Visual Learning Center, we encourage parental involvement and we require practice outside of office visits. Practicing at home is a cost-effective way to reinforce repetitious procedures and help transfer learned skills to everyday use.

We believe practicing at home contributes to the results our families are able to enjoy together, and parents report that it helps to mend and strengthen the relationship with a child that has been strained due to “homework wars” and getting into trouble at school (for “acting out” due to vision-related frustrations).

Click HERE to download our list of fun, age-appropriate activities that you can do at home with your child. This guide also includes a list of games, online resources, and apps.

Download (3-pages)

Download (3-pages)

Remember that these activities are intended to enhance a vision therapy program, not replace it. If you suspect your child has a learning-related vision problem, first contact a developmental optometrist to schedule a comprehensive functional vision exam. Only a trained professional can develop an appropriate course of treatment.

For even more activities, visit our resource center here.

If you you are located in Olney or Silver Spring, Maryland, contact Dr. Philip Nicholson’s office to schedule a functional vision exam today.

Vision Therapy Exercise: Stickman Activity Packet

When a child has difficulty with reading, concentrating, confusing their left and right sides, or reversing letters, their challenges may indicate an undiagnosed vision problem. He or she could be struggling with eye movement skills or visual processing skills due to an underdeveloped ability to move or coordinate their eye muscles or an inability to process visual information through the brain efficiently.

A functional vision exam by an optometrist who specializes in developmental vision care can either rule out or diagnose a learning-related vision problem. If a child is found to have a vision problem that cannot be corrected with eyeglasses, a comprehensive, individualized vision therapy program often leads to significant improvement in a relatively short amount of time.

Eye movement skills or visual processing skills can be trained and developed through practicing a prescribed set of activities that a child will undergo with the guidance of a trained vision therapist. At the Visual Learning Center in Olney, MD, we suggest students supplement their in-office therapy with practice at home.

The Stickman Activity is one such exercise, designed to improve eye movement skills and visual processing skills. Working through and practicing this activity can improve the following skills:

  • Laterality and directionality — required for writing and recognizing orientation and direction
  • Figure ground — required to distinguish an image relative to its background or context
  • Visual concentration – required to fixate attention long enough to complete tasks and for comprehension

The vision therapy stickman activity is simple but effective. The person doing the activity is instructed to view a sheet that contains simple drawings of a figure wearing one glove or shoe, then say which hand is wearing the glove or which foot has a shoe on it. The goal is to first reach accuracy, then enhance difficulty by increasing speed or including rhythm elements.

Download your activity packet here.

Watch the video below for a demonstration:

 

Vision Therapy Exercise: Letter Tracking Activity

You may notice that your child is skipping letters or words when reading. You might obseve that your child can not distinctly identify the left or right side of his body, or be able to recognize direction applied to objects and symbols such as letters. You may see him flipping or reversing letters when writing, or recognize that he is unable to distinguish ‘p’ from ‘q’ or ‘b’ from ‘d’ while reading. If so, it’s possible that your child has a visual processing problem, such as poor visual discrimination.

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

Weakness in the area of visual discrimination leads to skipping letters or words when reading, or poor laterality and directionality. Laterality and directionality are skills required to write and recognize words with the correct orientation, or direction.

A visual processing problem, such as poor visual discrimination can be identified through a comprehensive functional vision exam, by a trained developmental optometrist.

Once a child is diagnosed with a visual processing problem, fortunately, an individualized vision therapy program will likely lead to significant improvement quickly. (Click here to view vision therapy success stories.)

In addition to in-office vision therapy, Dr. Philip Nicholson of the Visual Learning Center in Olney, MD, also recommends supplemental vision therapy activities that can be done at home.

One example of a vision therapy activity that can be practiced outside of the office is letter tracking. Letter tracking activities are designed to improve eye movement skills and visual processing skills, such as discrimination.

The vision therapy letter tracking activity involves drawing a continuous line, looping and circling letters of the alphabet, in sequential order, as directed. Patients first strive for accuracy, and then progress toward greater speed while maintaining accuracy. If the patient skips letters, he will find that the activity cannot be completed, and he can start again. This activity is useful to improve visual discrimination and reduce the errors that occur in reading, writing, and other activities due to poor visual discrimination.

Watch the video below for a demonstration of letter tracking and download a letter tracking packet here.

Should you wish to learn more about this vision therapy activity for visual discrimination improvement or schedule an appointment with Visual Learning Center in Olney, Maryland, contact us today at (301) 570-4611.

Vision Therapy Exercise: Discrimination Orientation Arrows Activity

If your child struggles with determining the correct letter orientation — or reversing letters when writing — due to a visual processing skills deficiency, vision therapy exercises can help.

Discrimination Orientation Arrows (DOA) is a vision therapy activity that develops visual discrimination, which is a skill essential in determining correct letter orientation and preventing letter reversals among students with learning-related vision problems.

In this activity, students work with a sheet of paper that contains a series of arrows, which are pointing in various directions. The vision therapist asks students to look at the sheet and indicate which direction each arrow is pointing, by saying “left” or “right” while the eyes are moving across the page.We encourage students to start slowly and allow for mistakes and self-correction to build their confidence.

This activity seeks to mimic the process of selecting a direction for each letter while writing.  “Should d point right or left? Should b point left or right? Which direction should I write q? Which direction should I write p?”

With practice, the outcome children enjoy is that they begin to catch their mistakes faster, reduce the frequency of errors, and dramatically boost their self-esteem. As the student improves, we incorporate a metronome into the activity and they use the beat to enhance deeper comprehension of discrimination orientation skills, until they become second nature. Soon, they will be writing b, d, q, p, etc. correctly, and with confidence.

Watch this video to see a demonstration of the Discrimination Orientation Arrows activity in progress and download a Discrimination Arrows activity packet here.

 

Should you wish to learn more about this vision therapy activity for letter reversals or schedule an appointment with Visual Learning Center in Olney, Maryland, contact us today at (301) 570-4611.