We all know that success tends to be accompanied by confidence. However, because children with visual dysfunctions struggle to perform daily tasks, whether academic or otherwise, their confidence is adversely affected. For example, a 7-year-old child struggling to read will likely refuse to read aloud in the classroom in order to hide his or her challenge. This problem may result in poor grades and the inability to keep up with the class. Over time, this could cause the child to become frustrated and have a negative self-image, leading the child to see him or herself as a "failure".
It's quite common for reading struggles and other school-related endeavors to be attributed to a learning disability, when in fact, the child may have undetected poor visual skills. Basic vision screenings do not assess visual skills and won’t catch functional vision problems, such as poor eye teaming, poor focus, or how the eyes move while reading. Only a functional eye exam can determine whether a child is struggling with visual difficulties and assess whether vision therapy can help develop and improve these skills. It’s important to note that even a child with 20/20 vision can have a visual dysfunction that interferes with learning.
Vision therapy helps thousands of children a year. The vision therapy program offered at Shelburne Primary EyeCare can help your child by retraining the brain and eyes to work in unison — offering them their best chance at success.
What Is Vision Therapy?
Vision therapy (VT) is a progressive treatment program made up of a variety of eye exercises, personalized to fit the needs of each child. The goal of vision therapy is to develop or enhance fundamental visual skills and abilities while increasing visual comfort and processing. Each treatment session takes place at the office once or twice a week under the supervision of Dr. Colette Whiting and Dr. Sandra Gillis-Kennedy.
To further support in-office treatment and accelerate progress, certain visual exercises are expected to be performed at home on a regular basis.
VT has been proven to improve the following eye conditions:
- Ambylopia (lazy eye)
- Strabismus (eye turn)
- Binocular vision problems
- Focusing/accommodative disorders
- Visual-Perceptual difficulties
- Eye movement problems
- Visual disorders resulting from brain injury
As part of the therapeutic process, vision therapists turn to various tools, such as specialized lenses, prisms, patches, filters, balance boards, and digital simulations.
Improved Vision Can Impact Confidence Levels
At the risk of sounding cliche, vision therapy can change lives — especially in children whose vision problems are at the root of academic or other vision-related struggles. Children who once experienced difficulty reading or playing certain sports due to vision problems will now have the skills needed to excel in those areas, leading to improved self-confidence and a feeling of competence.
When simple tasks become obstacles, children may become frustrated, or even angry. For this reason, VT also assists with behavioral issues. Once these daily tasks become easier to perform, episodes of frustration diminish in frequency.
Improving a child’s visual skills with VT allows them to become better learners, and helps them achieve their academic goals. In fact, VT can be a key component in preparing a child for higher education, as increased success can develop a greater belief in one's abilities. This newfound confidence will inevitably trickle into other areas positively impacting the quality of life and achievements.
With vision therapy, schoolwork, sports, and other daily activities that were once challenging become easier.
The trained visual skills developed through vision therapy empowers the child and shows them that they, too, can succeed. Don’t let poor visual skills hinder your child or yourself from accomplishing goals. Speak with Dr. Colette Whiting and Dr. Sandra Gillis-Kennedy to discover how vision therapy can unlock your or your child’s hidden potential. Call Shelburne Primary EyeCare today.
Shelburne Primary EyeCareprovides vision therapy and other services to patients from Shelburne, Melancthon, Alliston, Collingwood, and throughout Dufferin County.