Vision Therapy is a highly effective process of re-wiring the brain in order to operate the visual system more effectively. We've been successful at treating a wide variety of visual issues using therapy. You'll find plenty of information here, but for more questions please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call our Therapy Department at (916) 757-6281.
The American Optometric Association recognizes the following basic vision abilities required for school:
- Distance Visual Acuity (ability to see 20/20 beyond arm’s length)
- Near Visual Acuity (ability to see clearly and comfortably at 10-13 inches)
- Eye Movement Control/Tracking (smooth and accurate movement of the eyes across the page)
- Binocularity (ability to use the two eyes together as a team for single vision and stereo depth perception)
- Focusing (ability to read for a period of time without fatigue and the ability to rapidly change focus from front board and back to paper)
- Peripheral Awareness (ability to be aware of things on the side while looking straight ahead)
- Eye/Hand Coordination
Students who are labeled as "lazy" or "learning-disabled" often have vision-related learning issues or deficiencies in one or more areas that can be addressed with vision therapy. This is because vision therapy can strengthen and coordinate eye muscles to improve things like:
- BINOCULAR VISION, and
- VISUAL PROCESSING
...making it easier to read and easier to learn.
Dr. Leanne Liddicoat is specially trained and certified in Developmental Optometry and together with our vision therapists, provides help for children and adults alike, including those with Autism Spectrum disorders.
Vision therapy begins with a comprehensive eye evaluation, followed by an extensive Visual Skills Evaluation (VSE). We then tailor a vision therapy program to meet you or your child's individual needs.
ADHD? Dyslexia? Processing problems?
We have specific, standardized clinical tests to assess whether your child's visual skills are helping or hurting him/her in school. Many parents have been surprised to learn that even if their child sees 20/20, he or she could still have one of several vision problems that significantly interferes with their learning processes. Don't let your child be mistakenly labeled as lazy, disabled, or ADHD. Solutions may be less dire than you've been led to believe.
Common symptoms of visual-learning problems:
- losing place or skipping small words
- difficulty copying from the board to paper
- avoidance or frustration when reading
- eye fatigue, headaches, or performing below potential
Strabismus is commonly referred to as "turned eye".
Amblyopia is commonly referred to as "lazy eye".
Amblyopia can cause loss of vision due to improper development in the brain; the eye itself, however, is healthy. The brain is prevented from reading the input from the two eye equally, causing the visual performance of one eye to be less than the other.
The good news is that patching is no longer the standard of care for patients with either strabismus or amblyopia. New research clearly indicates that vision therapy is the most effective and longest-lasting way to normalize the visual system for both strabismus and amblyopia.
While treatment is effective at any age, early identification is crucial. Even infants and toddlers can be successfully assessed and treated with vision therapy.
More than 50% of patients with developmental delay, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), or other neurologic conditions such as cerebral palsy have an undiagnosed visual system disorder.
While often dismissed or designated as "untreatable" by other healthcare specialties, we have had great success treating the following symptoms:
- Eye fatigue
- Concentration difficulties
- Spatial disorientation
- Light sensitivity
- Visual Memory issues
Vision Therapy has been shown to directly improve an athlete's performance on the court or field through:
- Faster eye/hand coordination
- Improved spatial vision
- Increased accuracy
- Decreasing reaction time
- Improving dynamic visual acuity
- Enhancement of peripheral vision integration, tracking, and visualization
Spatial vision, i.e. where am I on the field or court, and where is it (the ball, the basket, a defender, etc) is impacted by how well your binocular vision system works, as well as how quickly and accurately your brain interprets binocular data. We now understand that even people with "good eyes" can see significant increases in visual effectiveness and efficiency through specific sports vision training. Pro Sports teams do it. So does the military.
STEP 1: An Eye Exam - You must have had a comprehensive eye examination within the last 12 months. If performed by another doctor, we will need a copy of your records to review. If you've not had a recent exam, contact us to schedule one. This exam may be partially covered by your vision or medical insurance.
STEP 2: Visual Skills Evaluation (VSE) - This evaluation involves both a doctor and a therapist. These appointments generally last 2.5 hours. Both parents (or guardians) must be present for at least the last portion of this visit.
STEP 3: Therapy Plan - The exact duration of therapy required will vary. Results can often been seen in 20-30 weeks. Some of challenging situations may require more time. Therapy consists of weekly 50-minute sessions that take place in-office with our therapists. This is accompanied with customized home-work, or exercises. Between your visits, the therapist and the doctor review your progress and make weekly adjustments to your course based on your results.
STEP 4: Progress Checks - About halfway through the planned therapy course, you'll check in with Dr. Liddicoat again to assess progress, repeat testing, and make adjustments.
STEP 5: Final Progress Check and Graduation - Final testing will be repeated and recommendations made as to how the results of therapy can be maintained and continued at home. In some cases, additional treatment is necessary.
We don't like to brag, but we will. You'll be hard pressed to find a better team of people committed to visual therapeutic rehabilitation, training, and skill building then the three professionals listed below.
All certified in their field, they also train and instruct others in the industry. You have an opportunity to get to know them better by attending one of our Visual Skills Seminars, which we hold in our office about once per quarter.
Dr. Liddicoat has a passion for Neuro-Developmental Optometry, and regularly holds seminars for both patients and professionals on the topic. Her commitment and dedication to this fascinating field shines forth most in the results and outcomes of the patients, both children and adults, that she's had the joy to assist over the years.
Lindsey brings a background in teaching to her many years of therapy. This makes her a true pro when dealing with kids, and yet she does a tremendous job with our more mature patients as well. Lindsey's been with our Visual Skills Clinic since the very beginning and has played a tremendous role in making it what it is today. Kids love her and parents appreciate her attention to detail.
Ruth brought growth to our Visual Skills Clinic many years ago and has greatly helped us expand the number and type of cases we can handle as a team. Her greatest joy is seeing her patients gain the confidence and skills that will help them thrive in school and/or at work. She helps patients lay new foundations and open up new worlds of possibilities for them in the future.
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