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Vision Therapy Success Stories

RE: Prism Lenses
by Jens Haase

Below is a report sent to children-special-needs.org by a teacher reporting on the use of prism lenses with school children who were experiencing reading difficulties and other learning disabilities associated with dyslexia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD), phorias, and strabismus. The use of prismatic lenses or eyeglasses with prism produced improvements in reading and writing abilities and improved attention spans.

For information on the prescription and use of prism lenses, please consult a licensed vision care professional listed in our Referral Directory: Find a Pediatric Eye Doctor. In the United States, prism lenses are classified as medical devices which must be prescribed and regulated by licensed eye care professionals.

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Date: Sun, 01 Mar 1998 11:28:48 +0100
MIME-Version: 1.0
To: www.children-special-needs.org
Subject: strabismus & learning disabilities at primary school
From: Jens Haase

Dear Sirs,

Please excuse all the mistakes in grammar, spelling, tenses, word order, etc. in this text -- I only learned English at school for a three year period, some 30 years ago.

During the last seven years, we ("we" means the staff of a Berlin primary school) have had remarkable successes with dyslexic children and children with learning disabilities including ADD or ADD/ADHD by having their strabismus or associated phoria fully compensated with prismatic glasses. We have collected photographs which show quite a typical change in handwriting and spelling of a (then 9 year old) boy who had an associated phoria of only 1.5 cm/m. The first picture shows his status some months before he got his first glasses, the second one shows his status about four months after he got the glasses (just prismatic glasses). After all those experiences with ~100 children, we don't agree any more with those optometrists who say that there is no need to compensate any disorder less than 5 cm/m with glasses -- in some cases, we had dramatic changes by correcting a disorder of only 0.25 cm/m! (Thanks to the specially trained optometrist!)

The typical problems of these children are:

  • bad handwriting
  • problems to hold the line
  • (poor abilities in drawing pictures, using a scissor etc.) -- mixing up letters ("b" and "d" specifically) -- exchanging neighbouring letters
  • forgetting single letters
  • adding single letters
  • slow reading
  • still reading letter by letter in the second year of school -- guessing words after having read the first letter(s) -- missing or double-reading single words or whole lines -- avoiding or refusing to read and/or write as often as possible
  • headaches
  • problems with attention
  • getting tired quickly
  • and some minor problems like red eyes, problems with bright light, etc.

The rate of success looks like this:

  • 3 - 5%: glasses don't help
  • 30%: there were positive changes in school, but parents and teachers don't know if it was the glasses or the simultaneously started training-program
  • 60 - 65%: remarkable changes in reading & writing abilities, better attention and it was quite clear that it was the glasses
  • 3 - 5%: dramatically positive changes

The younger the children, the more positive are the results: From the ages of 6 to 7 years, the improvements normally happen within 6 months. Within a few weeks, the children themselves realize that reading is much more easy for them. From the age of 10 or older, the results are more often poor and slow.

Those children who are suffering from headaches normally (i.e. 90% or more) lose them totally within 6 weeks. After they've corrected any visual disorder, the children don't need any more eye movement training.

Those who are interested in this subject, can request gifs of the photographs and/or a paper written by the optometrist who uses the checkup method developed by the Berlin High School of Optometrists and the related testing device "Polatest" (by Carl Zeiss, Germany). The text is available in German only.

Yours sincerely,
Jens Haase
Headmaster 19th Primary School
Berlin-Steglitz, Germany

To locate an eye doctor who provides comprehensive pediatric vision examinations and treatment, including Vision Therapy, request a referral through our Referral Directory: Find a Pediatric Eye Doctor.

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