At birth, a baby has eyesight that continues to develop rapidly through childhood and into adulthood.
Vision is very important in a child’s ability learn. Seeing clearly, being able to accurately follow a moving target, moving eyes precisely from object to object, changing eye pointing from near to far and back again, and changing focus from near to far and maintaining focus at each distance are all skills used to read, play, eventually be successful in many occupations.
When vision doesn’t develop accurately, words on a page can cycle through periods of clear and blur. When eyes don’t align correctly an image can appear to double. When eyes don’t accurately move from object to object, words and numbers can be missed or read backwards (think dyslexia), Any of these problems can lead to frustration, delays in leaning, and poor self-esteem.
While eyesight is a reflex that is normally present at birth, Vision (which includes eyesight but much, much more) is a learned skill much like crawling, walking, and running. Because vision is learned, vision can be taught and improved through life.
Vison therapy, (originally pioneered by Ophthalmologists Javal, Maddox, and others) arranges conditions and activities that teach visual skills without the need of medications or surgery. Conditions that can be improved through vision therapy including strabismus (crossed eye), amblyopia (lazy eye) and binocular eye movement skills as well as visual memory, visual thinking, and visual processing that, when mastered, can improve reading and learning.
Like any discipline, vision therapy can resolve many conditions without medications or surgery but vision therapy has its limits and in some resilient strabismus cases surgery is necessary and recommended. However, those necessary surgical treatments almost always have better outcomes when vision therapy is performed before and after surgery.
When a child has a learning related vision problem, he is not alone. It affects not only the child, but the parents and siblings too.
Vision therapy can make dramatic differences in lives, particularly in children who struggle in school.
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Safford, Arizona 85546
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