Most of the children referred to Trillium Vision Center pass vision screenings at school or the pediatrician’s office, yet they continue to struggle with vision problems that have not received a proper diagnosis. Parents do not always understand that vision screenings performed by a school nurse or pediatrician are not a substitute for a full eye exam.
The reason some children need more than a vision screening is that these types of exams only test the ability to see letters printed on an eye chart clearly. However, passing a typical eye exam only means that children have one of 17 critical skills required for reading and learning. Examples of visual skills not covered by standard testing include eye movement and tracking, the ability to focus, eye-hand coordination, and convergence, which describes the ability of the eyes to work as a team.
Just like all other skills children develop in their first several years of life, visual skills typically become more accurate over time. However, some children need extra help for these skills to develop correctly and on schedule.
Our staff uses proven therapeutic techniques during individualized vision therapy. We work with your child to complete eye exercises targeted towards specific goals, using appropriate equipment to help your child learn to use their eyes the right way. The goal of vision therapy is to provide the resources to enable your child to better process and understand what they see.
A Professional Definition of Vision Therapy
The American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus defines vision therapy as interventions used for the purpose of developing or improving visual abilities and skills. Other goals of visual therapy include improving visual comfort and processing of visual information. The organization states that three types of visual therapy are available for children.
Behavioral and Perceptual Vision Therapy
This type of visual therapy involves completing eye exercises to improve visual perception and processing.
Orthoptic Vision Therapy
Optometrists coined the term orthoptic vision therapy to describe the completion of a series of eye exercises performed over a period of several months. The goal of this specific type of therapy is to improve your child’s binocular function. Your child will work with an orthoptic specialist in the office and complete exercises at home. The specialist working with your child will take measurements at each appointment to measure progress.
Vision Therapy to Correct Nearsightedness
This therapy focuses on exercises that help to reduce the degree of your child’s nearsightedness or eliminate it all together. You may also hear us refer to nearsightedness as myopia.
Why Teachers Recommend Vision Therapy for Students
Teachers often rightfully assume that a student has problems with visual clarity or interpretation due to issues with reading aloud or writing legibly. The referrals typically come after a standard vision screening reveals that the student has normal eyesight. We feel it is appropriate for children who receive a vision therapy referral to undergo a physical exam to determine if a medical issue is causing the struggle with reading and writing. If not, a complete ophthalmology assessment is in order.
The most common visual disorders discovered through an ophthalmology exam include refractive errors, amblyopia, strabismus, and convergence insufficiency. The last term is the technical term used to describe eyes that do not track or team correctly.
Eyecare Services for Infants
Trillium Vision Care also advises parents of infants to take advantage of the InfantSEE program. InfantSEE is a public health program managed by a charitable organization called AOA Foundation. The purpose of the program is to evaluate infants between six and 12 months old to ensure that their vision is developing as expected. All infants in this age range are eligible for the comprehensive vision and eye assessment regardless of insurance coverage or ability of the parents to pay.
Contact Trillium Vision Care to Learn More About Vision Therapy Today
We offer vision therapy and several other vision services in Newark, Ohio, and New Lexington, Ohio. If you are concerned that your child could have an undiagnosed vision problem and want to explore vision therapy, please contact us to learn more about the process. You can also schedule an appointment directly by calling 740-344-1312 in Newark or 740-342-1784 in New Lexington.