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Behavioural Optometrists....

kateryderon Friday, February 22 2013, 09:24 AM
Hi, Easyread has recommended my son sees a behavioural optometrist for assessment. Just wondering if anyone has experience of this and has it been helpful? Thanks:)
  • Replied by CkristyKon Friday, February 22 2013, 01:54 PM·Hide·#1
    YES! My son saw a regular optometrist who told us that he had "better than perfect vision" 20/10 in both eyes, but when we went to the Behavioral optometrist they found out that he has TWO problems that required prism glasses! I had no idea that there was so much more to vision than just distance. It turns out that he has a vertical misalignment and a convergence problem! I was actually a bit skeptical but it turns out that he reads more easily now. I wish I had know about this YEARS ago! It would have made his life easier! Oh well, better late than never I guess...So my advice is go to the Behavioral Optometrist!
    1 vote by Mom2Boys
  • Replied by Shielson Sunday, February 24 2013, 08:20 AM·Hide·#2
    My daughter and I took her two sons very recently to a behavioural optometrist, Emma Drewery. This was on the advice of Easyread and a consultant who has diagnosed both boys as dyspraxic and dyslexic. The elder boy aged 8, was showing signs of considerable visual stress in motor assessments - and in eye tracking. His brother aged 7 was not able to be assessed as he tired too easily on motor development assessments.
    We did not expect either of the boys to require glasses but wanted some guidance to help with their obvious focusing difficulties, balance etc.
    Emma was brilliant - she did not question us much but did confirm that premature babies often have developmental delay and this affects fine motor control in all areas. (Both boys were 8 weeks premature)
    After a very thorough set of tests her diagnosis was that the younger boy had immature muscle development and this was affecting his ability to eye track. She also diagnosed him as having mixed dominance in his eyes. He is right handed but left eyed.She suggested glasses to give correction to his longsightedness which was causing him unnecessary strain. This with a lightly tinted lens gives him a more comfortable reading environment. We will continue to support his gross and fine motor control and continue to visit Emma. He is happier doing his homework now.
    My elder grandson, we knew had mixed dominance, he is left handed and right eyed, right eared, kicks with both feet with a preference to the left. He has had considerable problems with crossing the midline in active tasks e.g. swimming. Emma confirmed the findings we already had from our consultant in Edinburgh which we felt was very impressive from an eye test. She was able to confirm that the work we had done on eye tracking ourselves and with Easyread had worked and his eye tracking was now sound. However, there was a significant difference between his eyes. This no-one had picked up on. He read one word at a time in a stilted fashion. He has his prescription now and the fluency of his reading is taking off.
    The Behavioural Optometrist is looking at the whole child's neural development and how it affects their eyesight and educational performance.
    There are not many around and we found Emma through the consultant, Karen Beveridge at "KB insights" in Edinburgh.
    She was knowledgeable, very good with the boys and a complete professional. It is a hike from where we stay but we do not regret for one moment making the trip.
    1 vote by Mom2Boys
  • Replied by Mom2Boyson Sunday, February 24 2013, 11:48 AM·Hide·#3
    Both my boys have gone to the behavioral optometrist and like ChristyK, I really wish we had done it sooner! My older son has several developmental delays and we had taken him to a pediatric opthalmologist who said his eyes were perfect. So when he finally learned to read with Easyread, I thought his slow fluency was due to a neurologic processing issue. But then my younger son told me that sometimes he saw double, so off he went to the OD. The doctor told me that visual processing issues are strongly hereditary, so I decided to take my older son and have him checked out. I am so glad I did!

    My kids have been doing vision therapy for 3 weeks now. My younger son has not had double vision for 3 weeks, and he was having it multiple times per day before we started. My older son has taken up tennis again because as he put it, "Now I can see the ball." He is also picking up books voluntarily, including chapter books, and reading them on his own! We still have 7 weeks left of therapy, and I am so excited about these improvements I can't wait to see where they are when we get to the end.

    In my opinion, I would take your son at least to be evaluated. You don't have to do the therapy or even take the advice of the doctor, but at least you will have an expert rule in or out that the eyes are causing an issue.

    Good luck!
  • Replied by mom23greatkidson Monday, February 25 2013, 02:47 PM·Hide·#4
    Our regualr optician said he had perfect 20/20 vision and didn't need glasses. We did vision therapy for three years with a behavioral optometrist! It was amazing to see him change over time. He couldn't even catch a ball when we started, he would always misjudge where it was and his "timing" was totally off. The vision therapy addressed the whole child with vision and gross motor combined, amazing to see the integration happen. He also wears prism glasses for reading and academics. I've posted more in another area on the site, so I will find that post and put it here too.
    I would highly recommend all children be checked by a behavioral optometrist; all 5 of my family members need prism glasses for reading.
    1 vote by Mom2Boys
  • Replied by mom23greatkidson Monday, February 25 2013, 02:57 PM·Hide·#5
    I have this posted elsewhere in the site, but I'll repost here;

    My son is dyslexic and had three years of vision therapy with a behavioral optometrist. Our eyes are one of our biggest senses, they take in so much information within seconds, then the brain has to process the information and know what to do with it. Our eyes take in a 180 degree view of the world, with frontal and peripheral vision. Some people are more "hunter and gatherer" seeing a larger view of the world. When we are reading or doing close up work, we are only using 6% of our vision, called our macular vision. When someone behaves and works as the "hunter gatherer" as my son does (always outside, big ideas and dreaming all of the time, always "out there"), he then struggles to bring his outer world in, and over focuses. It is uncomfortable for him to close down his vision like that, as it's not his natural response or behavior. I liken it to asking him to do his academic work while looking through a pipe, closing down his vision to the point that he can only focus on certain things. He overfocuses, therefore his eye muscles tighten up. It is like if you are trying to reach for something and your arm muscle tightens, or goes into spasm, your hand won't reach your target. He has prism glasses which help relax his eye muscles so they don't tighten up on him. I would highly recommend a behavior optometrist if you see any issues with vision, a regular optician is not the same. My son has 20/20 vision and a regular optician did not find any difficulties, even though he had tracking issues etc.
    Replied by hoover7127on Tuesday, February 26 2013, 01:01 PM·Hide·#6
    I don't have any experience with a behavioural optometrist but with the fantastic results our son has gotten with EasyRead my recommendation is....if they said do it, I'd do it. I don't understand completely why this program works but it absolutely does. He went from struggling to read simple words to excelling in a matter of months. Completely amazing. We have tried alot of different things but nothing has worked, until now. So if they said to see one, in my opinion is they know what they are talking about.
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