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Vision Therapy Success Stories
RE: Vision Therapy and Convergence Insufficiency
by Mrs. Inouye
Below is a thank-you letter sent to an eye doctor who provides Optometric Vision Therapy or Visual Training. Mrs. Inouye writes this about her son, Garrett, and his FORMER reading difficulties which were greatly relieved following successful completion of a supervised program of Optometric Vision Therapy.
I am writing you professionally so that my words may encourage others and give them hope through Vision Therapy.
My background is in the field of Special Education. I have three credentials in the field of learning handicaps and a Masters of Education specializing in learning handicaps. I have 20 years combined experience as a special class teacher and Resource Specialist from the Montebello Unified School District, graduate professor for "Assessment and Curriculum Development" classes at La Verne University, and presently, I am the Director and founder of the Unique Learning Program (a pilot "Special Needs" program) for Whittier Christian Schools. Yet, when it came to helping my son with his visual perceptual difficulties, my credentials were not enough.
It was in the 3rd grade, when I noticed my son's reading difficulties. Although he comprehended with ease, and kept a straight "A" report card at a private school, to read a page out loud became his greatest fear. My testing of him academically found him at grade level reading in word recognition and in the 10th grade in reading comprehension. His ability was at gifted levels, but a keen eye would see that his fluency in reading was not consistent with what his abilities dictated. When he read, he would have difficulty keeping his place, he would misread words, or guess words that would work in context. To keep his grades at superior levels, Garrett needed to work very hard. He read through a developed ability to read by context and learned to answer any questions by deductive reasoning.
By the 4th grade, Garrett's esteem began to waver, and he began to doubt his gifted ability because he read with limited fluency. I knew that his difficulty had to be one of visual perception, yet after being tested by two reputable optometrists, they did not see a visual perception problem. I began to visit the Fullerton School of Optometry and buy texts that taught students about visual perception. I had my doubts about the validity of Vision Therapy, and decided to study the field as I attempted to work with my son.
I was not surprised to find out that Garrett needed Vision Therapy. He was found to have convergence difficulties (convergence insufficiency), which made his eyes overwork and become tired when reading. It was interesting to see that when he read using both eyes "teaming together"; his fluency was significantly slower than when he read using one eye. He was placed in a 6-month program and, because I trusted no one else, I brought my son to Dr. XXXX's Vision Therapy sessions.
Within 2 months times my son turned to me at church as we were singing. He said, "Mom, I think Vision Therapy is working! I can keep up in the hymnal!" I stood there, tears welling up in my eyes. His progress also was seen in his oral reading at school. His teacher had noticed the improvement and considered Garrett in the top third of the readers in class. For the first time in his life, I saw him choosing to read in his free time. Soon, Garrett was always reading, and he loved it! His interest was growing in many areas, and soon you would find him looking up many things on the Internet and finding information on things independent of assignments or suggestions.
After just 3 months, Garrett was re-tested, and was found to not need Vision Therapy any longer. He had trained his vision to correctly perceive. His desire to improve his reading gave him the discipline nightly. His commitment allowed him to sometimes do his therapy even beyond the recommended time. He was diligent and dedicated. And because Garrett had only an isolated visual perception weakness, and did not have any other learning disabilities, I am convinced that Vision Therapy allowed him the life-changing joy of reading with ease.
Professionally, and personally, I am convinced that Vision Therapy is real! It is a vital necessity for anyone who has a perceptual weakness to the point that it affects his or her ability to find success at school or in work. I recommend with the highest of respect and gratitude, Dr. XXXX for his expertise in diagnosing visual difficulties or weaknesses, and prescribing the necessary ways to remediate it.
With a thrilled heart, full of gratitude and the utmost respect,
Mrs. Joynce Inouye, M.A., Ed.
Director of the Unique Learning Program
Specialist of Learning Handicaps
Whittier Christian Schools Excellence in Education since 1947
Whittier, CA 90604
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