Vision 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.