SET YOUR SIGHTS ON IMPROVING YOUR CHILD’S VISUAL SKILLS
Your child’s visual effectiveness and efficiency are just as important as how clear their vision is. Our vision therapy centre includes a comprehensive learning-related vision therapy program customized to your child’s needs, helping them confidently rely on their vision.
If you believe your child may be struggling with a learning-related vision problem, please contact us today to book an appointment. We will be happy to assess your child’s eyes and develop solutions to help them keep performing at their best!
COMMON VISION PROBLEMS IN CHILDREN
Some children may struggle with their vision even if their eyesight is 20/20. Some of these issues may include:
- Skipping or rereading words or lines
- Eye fatigue when reading
- Poor reading comprehension
- Closing an eye when watching television or reading
- Frequent squinting
- Poor hand-eye coordination
- Double vision
While glasses or contact lenses may be able to correct some of these problems, only vision therapy can help improve the function of your child’s eyes.
WHAT DOES VISION THERAPY ADDRESS?
Our learning-related vision therapy program is designed to include some of the latest tools and techniques to help improve the function of your child’s vision. Learning disabilities like ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, and others can also have a profound impact on your child’s vision.
Our vision therapy program focuses on several visual skills and enhances them with a series of exercises prescribed by your vision therapist.
Some of skills include:
Accomodation, more commonly known as focusing, is the eyes’ ability to provide a clear image at different distances. Changing your focus actually changes the shape of your crystalline lens.
When you are focusing on something far away, your ciliary muscles and lens are relaxed, but focusing on something close contracts the ciliary muscles and expands the shape of your lens.
Tracking, or eye movement, is the eyes’ ability to read across a page or even watch objects as they move around. This skill is comparable to “keeping your eye on the ball.”
There are couple of different tracking skills we could help develop further with vision therapy:
- Saccadic eye movements: These are your fast eye movements, which can help you change your fixation rapidly to other points of interest.
- Slower smooth pursuit eye movements: These movements can help you keep track of objects that are moving or if you’re in motion.
- Vergence movements: This is the ability to track objects as they move closer or further away from you.
Teaming, sometimes referred to as binocular vision, is the eyes’ ability to work together to focus on one object. Conditions like strabismus or amblyopia can impact this skill, leading to reduced vision in one eye, and problems with the brain comparing the two images your eyes are providing.
With poor binocular vision, you may have trouble walking up and down stairs, determining distance of objects like cars, or playing sports.
Perception is the ability to understand and discern the difference between objects and activities you’re performing. This skill is essential for reading, writing, playing, dressing, and even eating. There are a number of different skills that forms your visual perception, including:
- Visual spatial relations: This skill helps determine if a similar form is turned in a different direction, like determining the difference between p’s and q’s.
- Sequential Memory: This is the ability to remember sequential patterns and recognize them among other forms.
- Visual discrimination: This is the ability to differentiate between different objects.
- Form constancy: This is the ability to recognize a certain shape and spot and spot it in a group of different shapes.
- Visual memory: This is the ability to remember visual details in your short term memory, like a phone number.
- Visual closure: This is the ability to recognize incomplete shapes and fill in the blanks with your mind.
- Visual figure ground: This is the ability to see a form that’s hidden amongst similar objects or matter. For example, it would be the skill you use to pick a certain coloured ball out of a pile of coloured balls.
Visual Motor Integration
At first glance, you may believe that visual motor integration (VMI) and hand-eye coordination are one in the same. Although these skills may overlap each other, they are still different from one another.
Hand-eye coordination is used generally to perform activities like hitting a ball with a bat or shooting a puck into a net. VMI, however, is the skill to perceive and understand shapes and replicate it. Those who have poor VMI skill may have difficulty forming letters when they are writing or might not be able to draw simple shapes like squares or triangles.
WHAT CAN YOUR CHILD EXPECT FROM TREATMENT?
Because vision therapy programs are designed specifically for each patient, your child will need to have a comprehensive eye exam to determine if vision therapy is right for them.
During the exam, our team will look for problems in your child’s visual functions to develop a therapy program. Their treatment can include a series of different exercises, and your child may have to perform them regularly at home with your supervision.
Some the tools used in these exercises can include:
- Therapeutic eyeglass lenses
- Prismatic lenses either incorporated within a patient’s prescription eyewear or worn in conjunction during various activities or tasks
- Balance boards
- Computer programs and technology designed to stimulate and enhance the visual system