Vision Therapy

What is it, why do it and what are our aims and expectations?

Vision therapy is a recognised methodology that helps to create a firm foundation of relevant skills to improve your child’s visual perception.

Commonly used to help children who have difficulty reading, vision therapy involves specific activities which are undertaken to develop the skills that underpin the reading process. Once the learned skills are properly developed, your child is better equipped to tackle reading lessons and improve their reading ability.

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How does the vision therapy program work?

The formal visual perceptual assessment evidences the specific areas in which your child requires assistance. Using the results, the optometrist will create a unique vision therapy program designed for your child.

To maximise your child’s development, this program should be practiced for 15-20 minutes each day, in addition to your child’s in-house training sessions with our vision therapist. These in-house sessions reiterate the previous sessions exercises and introduce additional exercises for practice at home. The duration of the therapy depends on your child’s needs, lasting on average 3-4 months with proven results.

Binovi Touch: In-office Vision Therapy

The Binovi touch is a unique tool used by Bayside Eyecare which is designed to improve the visual performance, memory and perception of young people.

Bayside Eyecare is one of the select optometrists harnessing the benefits of Binovi touch. Through in-office vision therapy sessions our expert optometrists assist clients requiring remedial assistance, help improve hand eye coordination and visual skills at a young age, where development is at its most critical.

The video below is an example of the Binovi touch method at work. The client is using hand eye coordination to develop his visual skills and strengthen cognitive ability.

 

Explanation of Vision Therapy by Dr Paul Harris, Behavioural Optometrist

(reproduced in part with permission of Dr Paul Harris)

The right tools

Imagine that we have delivered to a plot of land all of the necessary raw materials needed to build a house. Some children enter the worksite with a rather complete set of tools to cover most needs, while others have only the essentials or may in fact be missing even a core or fundamental tool. 

In general, schools assume two things. The first is that most children enter with a fixed set of tools that will carry them through their academic career. Due to this assumption, the child is placed into a series of courses such as Carpentry 101 and Plumbing 101. To a child coming to the workplace with the right tools, these beginning classes may come rather easily. To a child missing one or more of these basic tools, failure to achieve basic “educational” goals may become evident rather early on.

Adapting without the right tools

Many resourceful and smart children who are missing fundamental tools may find ways to get the job done although they are not using the proper tool. This degree of compensating can often serve to mask the discovery of a missing fundamental tool for quite a while in a resourceful child.

Once the teacher realizes the child is having issues, the school system will initiate a series of tests to identify the problems. Psychological educational testing often correctly identifies the general category of the problems, such as carpentry or plumbing but may fail to recognize that the lack of a tool may be the problem. Here is where a false assumption puts the child in an intervention program that will actually work to embed the problem even more. How?

Inefficient opportunity to develop the right tools

A hammerless child is labelled as “hammerless” or “hammer compromised.” The hammerless child will be given activities, which will not require them to use a hammer. The child will advance through the rest of their courses but a fundamental tool and basic skill necessary to nearly any home building project will be missing, the ability to use a hammer. The false assumption was that once hammerless, forever hammerless.

Behavioural vision care: developing the right tools

The key factor in behavioural vision care is that the presence of a missing tool is only evidence of not having had the appropriate meaningful experience to have developed or acquired that tool. 

That’s where we come in. We are in the business of identifying the missing tools and then putting together a treatment protocol to provide the child with the necessary meaningful experiences to acquire the tool.

This process of tool acquisition and attaining fundamental competence in the use of the skill is the domain of optometric behavioural vision care. We turn over to the school system a child who now possesses the correct set of tools to perform the tasks required of them.

Behavioural vision care optometrists do not teach carpentry or plumbing. Behavioural vision care optometrists do not teach reading, writing or mathematics. Behavioural vision care optometrists do identify missing tools and allow the child to acquire and gain competency with the new tools. Then, and only then, will the school system find a child who is ready to be taught using conventional methods and who will thrive in a variety of educational settings and following a variety of teaching methods.

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