Vision Therapy
Learning challenges 

This is a blog post about Hannah's journey with her vision therapy. 

As with many parents, education can be challenge. And for our family it was. Hannah was flagged as a child in kindergarten for learning challenges.

At first from K - 1st grade it was said during many meetings that the reason Hannah was a year behind for reading and math was because she didn't go to pre-school. So we gave her the extra help, I paid for a private tutor. Worked with her as much as I could without trying to cause a fight over school work!

She is a very bright child. Has a big vocabulary and can recall information and facts like nobody's business ! She learned to become an auditory learner. So the school gave her a scribe and a helper to read directions for her. That way during the MCAS Test she could use those resources to at least have a chance to score well on the test.

Now as a mother I knew that something wasn’t right, but I couldn’t put my finger on the problem. And the assessment tests that were given to her, just weren’t matching up to her classroom performance.

Fast forward to midway into 4th grade. Hannah was given her 2 year IEP eval. And part of that eval was having the school occupational therapists work with her. The school wanted to leave no stone unturned. Hannah didn’t pass the eye exam part of the testing. Now understand Hannah has 20/20 vision. What the issue was her eye tracking while she read.

Hannah couldn’t cross her eyes, which you need to be able to do for reading. Here is what would happen. Her eyes would come together, then both her eyes would move out and the left eye would start to have a spasm.

OMG ! Now the light bulb in my head went off. ALL these issues she had been having in the classroom and at home now make perfect sense! Examples:

  • Couldn’t copy correctly from the board to paper
  • Doing spelling words 3x’s each
  • Losing her place while reading  
  • Mixing up word order
  • Headaches
  • And always looking like the life had been sucked out of her after school

After this came to light the school occupational therapist stated she had never seen this eye issue before and didn’t know what the next course of action needs to be.

Thank goodness I am good at doing research!

After doing some research and asking a few different people I was pointed to the direction of a Behavioral Optometrist. They specialize in learning challenges that are related to eye tracking problems. And lucky for me there is one right in Worcester, MA. on Park Ave. called Vision Source with Dr. Thamel. Our first consult was an hour and Hannah was diagnosed with Double Vision.

And she was prescribed 12 weeks of vision therapy. Each week we would go to an hour of therapy and Hannah would be given a bunch of different eye exercises that she needed to practice 3x’s a day for the week. We did many of these exercises together and man are they hard! But the therapy program is meant to get those eye muscles working together like they should along with the brain.

As a parent I am so pleased with how this turned out. Her eyes are now 100% corrected. And it is a permanent fix. Now her eye muscle know how to work together and her vision is just going to get stronger with practicing her reading.

Here is what Hannah can do now

  • Copy from the board
  • Read at a good speed
  • Her handwriting is so much better
  • And cross her eyes and hold it for 30 seconds

She was also given a math assessment testing throughout the year. So here are her scores out of 100. 31 first half of the year. 41 half way point of the year. 82 after completing vision therapy.

I am so proud of the progress she has made since completing her therapy. Well worth the time and money. 5th grade is going to be an awesome school year for her now that her eyes have been corrected.

And Hannah has informed me when she grows up she wants to help other kids just like her to be able to see better.