at home vision therapyAt home vision therapy is a series of exercises designed to change a child?s visual system and improve their learning ability, from the comfort of your own home.?? With vision being responsible for over 80% of the information a child absorbs in the classroom, it makes sense that at home vision therapy can help children with learning disabilities.? But what many parents who have attempted at home vision therapy ask is, ?Does have to be so boring??

As a behavioural optometrist I can assure you that doing eye exercises are no fun, but rather pain and hard work.? Watching a pencil tip come closer to your nose 20 times is strenuous, unpleasant and most of all, boring!? You may be able to concentrate a bit longer, but at what price, and then how long does it last?

At Home Vision Therapy Needs to be Fun

Even as an optometrist, I can see that a lot of eye exercises are far from fun.? They rely on repetition, in much the same way as exercises at the gym do to have an effect.? Don?t worry, I hate gym exercises too, and I find them boring!

So the challenge was there to attempt to design a type of at home vision therapy that not only had a positive effect on learning, but was also fun enough that the child might actually want to do them!? Is it possible that 20 minutes a day of games could actually help a child with a learning disability?

After a lot of research I recognized that some at home vision therapy tasks are simply hard work and cannot be made fun at all!? Pencil convergence, mentioned above, will never be a favourite that?s for sure!? However, many of the visual skills that are require for a child to learn effectively can be enhanced by playing particular, targeted games which develop specific skills.

So if I concentrate on developing the skills needed by children in learning, then it is possible to design an at home vision therapy program which is not only effective, but is also fun!

And that?s what I have done!

The Pros and Cons of At Home Vision Therapy

ticks a number of boxes for a behavioural optometrist.? It can be done at home, without direct supervision, and this means it can be done far more often that in-office therapy.? I am convinced that doing a little bit every day is far more effective than doing a lot once a week, and we have found this to be true in our patients.

It can be done at whatever time suits the parents, and it can be done anywhere in the world because they do not have to travel to my office for help.? If planned correctly, at home vision therapy can also be made fun as well as challenging, which means that getting children to do the work is a whole lot easier!? It can also be made cheaper than the in-office variety!

The only real limitation for at home vision therapy is that not ever condition can be successfully treated.? Turned eyes and lazy eyes, for example, cannot be easily treated by at home vision therapy alone.

Developing visual skills for learning, however, can very effectively be enhanced by consistently done at home vision therapy, especially when the tasks are fun and changing regularly.? I have found that working with children in this way, rather than forcing them to do things they hate and which hurt, yields better results than doing tasks in the office.? Parents can be kept consistent via emails (we call it being ?gently nagged?) and kids can feel like they are achieving real results.

So parents, if you are slogging through miles of mind-numbing home activities then take my advice and stop right now!? Replace it with genuine, proven at home vision therapy which is fun, challenging and anything but boring!

Vision therapy at home is a cost effective way of helping a child with learning disabilities.? It involves training the visual skills required for effective learning, and can be a powerful ally in the struggle to help children to learn reading, writing and spelling.? It presents unique problems for the optometrist, because they are not in control of every aspect, yet for parents it provides safe and convenient therapy that can have a major impact on their child!

The Advantages of Vision Therapy at Home

Not all vision therapy can be done at home effectively, because it requires equipment and understanding far beyond what the average parent can obtain.? This is especially true of therapies which target huge visual problems like lazy eyes or turned eyes, especially if neurological problems are involved such as is often the case with eyes that turn inwards.

However, despite obvious limitations, there are many advantages of vision therapy at home for parents of children with learning disabilities.? These advantages include?

It is Convenient:? can be done at any time, without an appointment with an eye care professional.? Some parents prefer the morning, some incorporate it with the child?s homework and some parents vary it according to their own shiftwork.

No Travel Required:? With vision therapy at home, there are no appointments and no travel necessary to the doctor?s offices.? It is done in the comfort of home, in surroundings a child knows, loves and understands and this can help with the effectiveness of the therapy.

It?s Available Everywhere:? Millions of people in the world do not live near a behavioural optometrist and as such have no access to their services, including vision therapy.? But home based therapies are available to parents anywhere in the world, at any time.? They can visit their local optometrist for an eye test, then access specialized vision therapy at home to help their child?s learning.

It is Cost Effective:? At a behavioural optometrist vision therapy may cost thousands of dollars over a number of months, including the visits, the homework and assessments.? is often a much more effective product, so for the cost of six weeks in office therapy you are able to get an 8 month program, for example.

It is Transferable:? is applicable to many children who have learning disabilities, and as such can be transferred to other children as well.? With our program, many parents have involved the siblings of the child they are targeting and been able to see improvement in the learning abilities of all children, all for the same price.

It is Fun!? As a parent do you enjoy spending time with your learning disabled child attempting to do homework?? Is it fun, or is it a battle, possible even all-out war!? From your child?s point of view, you are asking them to do something they hate and are no good at, after already spending the entire day at school doing stuff they hate and are no good at!? Any wonder your child reacts with frustration and anger!

However, homework does not have to be like that!? If you invest some time in training the skills your child needs to learn, you can make homework a time of the enjoyable pursuit of knowledge.? Give them the skills they need and you can change their attitude to reading and homework.? They will also feel they can do the tasks, and feel good about themselves and what they can achieve.

You asking them to do boring, traditional vision therapy at home cause pretty much the same response that homework does.? That?s why I have spent years designing and researching fun ideas and games that kids want to be a part of, yet which successfully develop the skills they need to achieve at school.

So if the itch you currently have is to help your child do better at reading, writing and spelling, then the right type of vision therapy at home could be the answer you are looking for!

vision therapy at homeVision therapy at home can be one of the most effective ways of helping children with learning disabilities.? As a parent, you are able to do it at any hour of the day or night when you choose, without having to make a specific time to travel to the optometrist.? You can also do it in the comfort of your own home, with not appointments and no travel necessary!

But doing vision therapy at home with a child can sometimes be a nightmare!? Children can get frustrated with the constant repetition and mind numbing boredom of traditional exercises, and then start acting out making mum or dad?s life miserable!

What is the missing element when you attempt vision therapy at home?? It is the element of fun!

Some Vision Therapy at Home Is Not Fun!

As a behavioural optometrist I have recognized the effectiveness of home therapy for years, but have always had trouble getting children and parents to do the exercises.? When I tried them on my daughter I realized that they were often boring and dull, as well as sometimes painful and uncomfortable!? She hated them, I hated them, she hated me as well, and the entire process broke down!

Sound familiar?? The missing element is having fun, pure and simple.

So I went back to the drawing board and started again, realizing this time that I needed to inject an element of fun into the process.? If you want a child to do a specific exercise, making it fun means that they will do it with enthusiasm and a smile rather than a big screaming performance.

My Vision Therapy at Home is Fun!

Let me take one of the therapies I frequently used, which involved circling a bunch of numbers three times each, but only in the right order.? Sounds simple, if not a bit dull, but here?s the twist? The numbers are replaced by numbered flies, and the task involves circling each fly 3 times to ?swat it?.? Then we add a stopwatch, and the child is not only swatting flies but racing the clock to beat his best time as well.

Same task, but fun is added and the child is now keen to beat yesterday?s time and kill as many mosquitoes as he can!

This is just one example from many in which injecting the element of fun has a very positive effect on the outcome of vision therapy at home.? It helps if the optometrist is a little crazy like myself, and if they basically are a child who never grew up (the proverbial Peter Pan Behavioural optometrist if you will).? But my aim was to get kids doing the vision therapy effectively, and adding fun makes the tasks far more effective.

It is true that some vision therapy exercises are dull and cannot be significantly made fun, but I try and balance any dull, strenuous therapies with some fun activities each week.? If the child knows that a fun exercise is coming they will often see the boring one off in order to get to the fun one, and so even the boring ones are being performed effectively.

Vision Therapy at Home can be Effective

It is well established that therapy at home, if done properly with the right guidance, can be an effective tool to help children with learning disabilities.? However, it can just as easily turn into all-out war at home, and this is the main reason for parents stopping what could be the very tool they are seeking to help their child!

Keeping things fun, enjoyable and challenging for your child can often hold the key to doing the activities often enough to have a positive effect on their learning ability.? Making things fun means increasing compliance, enjoying the time together and seeing better results, so if you want fun and effective vision therapy let me know!

Adding the element of fun to your vision therapy at home could be the answer to your child?s learning disabilities.

Vision and Learning Problems

vision and learningVision and Learning are closely related, with vision being the dominant sense in the classroom and the main way in which new information comes to a child.? Yet it is one of the most frequently overlooked facets of a child?s learning experience!

Behavioural Optometrists believe that vision is an easy and obvious place to start when trying to find help for a child?s learning problems.? Most often, it has very little to do with whether a child can see the print.? The bigger issue is how they take in, process and understand the letters and words they are seeing.

There?s more to Vision and Learning

Most optometrists measure sight, and proclaim a child fit to learn if they can see the print and are not long or short sighted.? I hear phrases like, ?My child has 20/20 vision,? which means they can see the words, but can they flow, can they understand and can they actually read?

There is far more to vision and learning than just being able to see.? I see perfectly well, yet I visit a Chinese city and despite a University education, despite a reasonable intelligence and good vision, I cannot understand the signs!? I can?t even try and pronounce them, yet I see them!? Clearly there is more to learning and reading than just seeing!

The fact is I cannot understand Chinese.? I don?t know the code, so the symbols are meaningless to me.? Children with learning disabilities can experience this with the words they try to understand, so a true test for vision and learning must go far beyond just a child?s seeing ability.

A True Test of Vision and Learning

When Behavioural Optometrists like me examine children, we want to go beyond the simple prescription and seeing ability of the child.? We will look at how the child?s visual system balances as they read, how they move their eyes across the page, how they coordinate their eyes as a team and how they understand and interpret the symbols on a page.

Our aim is to examine HOW the child learns, and how they use the visual skills that are essential for good learning.? Now most kids develop these during grade school, but children with learning problems often fail to develop or under develop these skills.? The best news of all is that using a combination of special lenses and targeted eye exercises (vision therapy) we can improve these basic building blocks of vision and learning.

The result is that we can have a significant impact on a child?s learning ability if we perform the right eye tests with your child, and use the right glasses or therapy to help them.

The Eye CU Difference

At Eye CU, we want to go further and help your children, especially if they are struggling with their learning.? We do this because we care, and because we want to improve your child?s ability to learn effectively.? We do it because we are passionate about it.

We do this because we believe there is a strong relationship between vision and learning, and our calling is to maximize the potential of all children, even if they are struggling with learning problems.

Vision Therapy ActivitiesVision therapy activities are used by Behavioural Optometrists around the world to help children develop their visual skills.? The aim is not so much to perform certain tasks in an office, but rather to help the child with learning disabilities or visual dysfunction and to aid them as they learn and develop through their schooling.

The big question is, ?Do vision therapy activities actually work??

What are the Vision Therapy Activities?

Concerned parents are always looking for ways to help their children, especially if their child is struggling at school.? Yet many so-called experts debate the effectiveness of vision therapy activities, without knowing what these activities actually entail!

As a behavioural optometrist for over 25 years, I have successfully used vision therapy activities to modify both the measurable visual performance of children and also their performance in the classroom.? However, I recognize that some activities suggested by optometrists hold little value for improving the school performance of children, even if they change our measurements.

Claiming that therapy activities do not work is like claiming piano lessons don?t work!?? We should not write off the entire profession because somebody did vision therapy activities and did not get a result.? I failed my piano lessons, yet clearly they seem to have worked for Billy Joel!

Why Most Vision Therapy Activities Cannot Fail!

There are definitely types of activities that cannot fail, and these are similar to guitar or piano lessons in that they teach children the skills they need to perform well in school.? What skills am I talking about?

I use vision therapy to train skills like eye movements and tracking, eye coordination and focus, visual memory for spelling, directionality for letter reversals and well known skills like sequencing, coding, etc.? These are used every day by people as they learn, and if they are underdeveloped for any reason, they the child is likely to suffer a learning disability.

These skills are developed naturally by school and learning activities over time, but what happens if they do not develop until Grade 8?? You have a child who might be very bright verbally but cannot read, write or spell very well.? They most often don?t have dyslexia or brain damage, they most often have simply failed to develop the skills they need to do the job properly.

Activities which concentrate on the visual skills every person in every culture uses to learn and read will definitely help a child with learning disabilities.? In fact, they simply cannot miss!

Vision therapies which focus on developing these essential visual skills almost always see improvement in a child?s learning ability.? In the same way that piano lessons will improve both a novice player and an expert, getting these skills right can have a major effect on a child?s ability to learn.

The great thing is that developing these skills is fun and enjoyable for the child!? I have produced activities which kids love doing, find challenging yet not overwhelming and have a fantastic success rate for helping children with learning difficulties.? They?re not weird, not boring and take around 6 months to help a child reach their full potential.? They don?t teach a child reading, but they provide the skills that child needs to be taught reading quickly and effectively.

Those which focus on developing the needed skills can be a powerful tool for helping your child learn more effectively.

 

Can Home Vision Therapy Help Learning Disabilities?

 

Vision therapy is becoming a popular way of helping children with learning disabilities.? The main problem with them is that they are prescribed by behavioural optometrists and are often very expensive (sometimes thousands of dollars).? They also often involve multiple and frequent trips to the optometrist to use sophisticated equipment.? Some simple activities are done at home, but questions are often raised about the effectiveness of home based therapies.

 

The Advantage of Home Therapies

 

I believe that home based therapy has several clear advantages over the in-office style.? Firstly, they can be done at any hour of the day or night, in any place in the world and do not require trips to the optometrist.? Secondly, they can be a lot less expensive because the valuable time of the optometrist or their assistants is not being used on a weekly basis.

But are they as effective as in office activities?

In some areas clearly they cannot be as effective because the advanced equipment is not available in your home. This is especially true for complicated eye conditions such as turned eyes or lazy eyes.? That being said, a simpler task performed every day is frequently more successful than a visit once or twice a week to an expert?s office.

The fact is that some therapies, notably those which help learning disabilities, can be easily and successfully done at home by parents, while others require greater expertise or equipment and should only be attempted by a behavioural optometrist.

So What Does Work at Home?

Some activities are extremely effective as home therapies, especially when it comes to learning disabilities and problems.? Tracking for example, which helps a child to move across a page correctly and not misread words or skip lines, is easily trained using home based techniques.? Visualization for spelling is another, as is directional training (to stop letter reversals), coding, sequencing and even focus and eye coordination.

As a behavioural optometrist myself, I have been effectively using these home based vision therapy activities to help children with learning disabilities for years and with the rise of the internet their effectiveness has become greater.

 

In my program I have utilized automatic emails to keep parents on track and gently ?nag? them into keeping up their schedule of therapies.? This has been very successful and can be reset at any time, helping to keep parents on track and children doing enough vision therapy activities to have a positive effect on their school performance.? Again, doing a lesser activity every day is often more effective that a complex one weekly.

When it comes to children with learning disabilities, a home based series of vision therapy activities is one of the most effective ways of helping because parents can do the therapies daily and at any time that works for them and their family.? Using the right activities more often can train the skills that a child needs to perform better in school, and I prove this with my patients on a daily basis!

When it comes to developing visual skills for learning, home based vision therapy activities are among the most effective tools I know for helping children with learning disabilities.