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Vision Therapy Success Stories
My Son Graduated Vision Therapy Last Week
by Bonni Mantovani
"It has been an amazing process to see the changes in his attitude and behavior over the past six months since he began the therapy."
At the end of the 4K school year, my five-year-old son could consistently recognize about four letters and one number. We completed the battery of psychological tests and were told he had ADHD.
I didn't buy it. I wasn't looking for behavioral problems, I wanted him checked out because he didn't know his alphabet. He has excellent verbal and vocabulary skills, and I felt the need to keep searching. After visual exams with three different doctors, we determined he had trouble with binocular vision, focus, eye movement and tracking.
We are in our 22nd week of visual therapy. We spend an hour a week at the doctor's office and about 2 hours a week at home. He was re-checked at the 12-week point and showed significant improvement. He will be examined again at 24 weeks, and we expect his therapy to last about 36 weeks.
Less that six months ago, he knew only four letters and now he knows the entire alphabet, all of the numbers and is actually reading. His teacher says he's ahead of schedule in kindergarten and is actually helping some of the other kids in his class who can't sound out words. The increase in his confidence is amazing.
The 4K teachers advice was to let it ride and see how he does in 5K, she felt it was a development thing. The psychologists wanted us to consider Ritalin. Thank God we continued to search for an answer.
I want to share my story because it all makes sense now. When my son started preschool, his teacher suggested signs of ADD. Thinking she just couldn't handle an active child, I let it go. When his kindergarten teacher had the same concerns (without being informed of his preschool teacher's comments), I had him evaluated and he was diagnosed ADD. Reluctantly, in the fourth grade I started him on Ritalin. It made an enormous difference in his behavior and I thought this was the answer.
After about 8 months on the medication, he began to roll his eyes. I was thinking that this was a side effect of the Ritalin (tics and tourettes), but needed to rule out other possibilities. I made an appointment with an optometrist and found that my son has limited peripheral vision and monocular vision.
It all made sense! His inability to concentrate, limited attention span, class clown personality, sloppy writing, poor coordination, inability to excel in sports, etc., were all effects of his inability to see properly. He has since started visual therapy. I urge other parents to check out other alternatives before turning to medication.
To learn more about attention deficit disorders and vision, visit www.add-adhd.org
To locate an eye doctor who provides comprehensive pediatric vision examinations and treatment, including
, request a referral through our Referral Directory: Find a Pediatric Eye Doctor
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