Optical Prism July/Aug Issue Vol. 32 No. 3 - Page 44

A variety of tools are used to conduct the therapy based on the patient’s individual needs: • Therapeutic lenses • Prisms • Filters • Occluders or patches • Electronic targets with timing mechanisms • Balance boards Patients are also given homework which may include practice sheets and activities to continue their inclassroom therapy off-site. The ECP is in constant communication with parents to ensure benchmarks are being met. The goal of the program is not to make it feel like school for children but to help them feel comfortable with their vision health and proud of their achievements. “We try to make it as fun as possible,” said Peddle adding when kids see their picture on the board of graduates it empowers them to continue to stay focused on improving their eye health. “I worked with a young boy, age 8, who was on the autism spectrum (high functioning). He was referred by an occupational therapist who noted that he would consistently close an eye when working at his desk,” she said. “After a full binocular vision evaluation, it was found that he had a severe convergence insufficiency and deficiency of saccades (poor eye tracking). His eyes weren’t teaming together, resulting in double vision at near.” She said to avoid this confusion, the young boy would close an eye at near, thus eliminating the double image. They began a 20-week program of in-office vision therapy. Within eight weeks his symptoms were reducing and his reading level was at grade level. By the end of 20 weeks, he had perfect depth perception, eye teaming, and eye tracking for his age. “He was comfortable reading and writing, and no longer saw double at any distance. His mother remarked -with tears in her eyes- that his reading skills were now above grade level and that he was actually asking her for more books,” she said. Peddle says the eyecare industry is slowly beginning to take Vision Therapy more serious and ECPs are adopting it as part of their practice. “People are starting to see the benefits,” she said adding schools of Optometry within Canada are beginning to integrate vision therapy for children into the curriculum. In addition social media has also begun to play a role in parental education and support. Several boards now exist on Facebook offering parents advice and resources including one by Vaughan Family Vision Therapy. Here the latest news and resources are posted for parents to access. It’s also a place where Peddle and her team share the successes of their students and tokens of gratitude including cards from graduates. “The feedback is fantastic. Many children have gone from a grade one level to grade five in as little as 20 weeks,” she said. “You see their confidence soar.” • To learn more about Vision Therapy visit: www.covd.org www.oepf.org www.eyeseeeyelearn.ca 42 O P T I C A L P R I S M | J U LY / A U G U S T 2 0 1 4