We had our long-awaited parent consultation meeting for Vision Therapy (VT) this week for our oldest. Let me start by saying that if I had to do this all over again, I would definitely ask for the evaluation again. That said, we are probably not going to go forward with VT for our daughter. I will go into the reasons after I lay out the testing results and the therapy recommendations. I plan to break this into several posts for ease of reading.
Why Ask for Vision Therapy? [Summary]
Child #1 has alternating accomodative esotropia in botheyes. She wears glasses (withprogressive lenses) that help correct her eye turn and help her see 20/25 or better bothfar and near. She does not have a “weak eye” – bothwork, just not together or at the same time. She has “monocular vision.” I have written some previous posts about her eye sight. The reason I asked about Vision Therapy was because as I work everyday withher, I see things. Things that most parents may not notice because they aren’t there with the little details all the time. I am not a detail person, but a picture was being painted and I wanted to ask the experts what it meant. I have a whole post on this that I’ll put up later in the week.
Process for Us
Our local ophthalmologistreferred us to someone he has worked with previously and though a lot of. the first of what ended up being three (could have been four) evaluationappointments was a dilated, in depth eye exam.
Here are the tests performed at that appointment:
Eye Health examination with dilation
Visual Acuity – Distance and Near
Then, we went to two one-hour appointments where our child took a series of normed, some timed, some untimed activities/tests. These were designed to find out where she is compared to her peers (four month span around her age) to diagnose if she has visual, visual-integration, or visual-motor processing issues. There were fine motor, gross motor, balance, coordination, visual memory, reading, phonetics, spelling, and other tests.
Here is the list of them:
Beery Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration (VMI-5th)
Tests of Visual-Perceptual Skills (non-motor) – 3rd Edition
Wold Sentence Copy Tests
Piaget Right/Left Awareness Test
Grooved Pegboard Test
Reversal Frequency Tests
Dyslexia Determination Test
Auditory-Visual Integration Test
Bilateral Integration Test (Angels in the Snow)
Test of Word Reading Efficiency
Test of Silent Word Reading Fluency
Our daughter’s glasses prescription is right on. This doctor disagrees with our local doctor in regards to giving “progressive lenses” to children. Lined bifocals are preferred because then the child and adult can tell what level of magnification the child is using to look at something. (At least, that is what this specialist told us.) Our child’s eyes do not work together. One eye focuses, then the other. They do not have to “team” and our child is not at a good age (too young) to work on this. Eye focus is slower than average and eye movement (“tracking”) is not smooth. These two things can be addressed with vision therapy.
The other tests showed that our child is mostly an “average” child – tracking around her age group with a few skills where she performed higher than her peers and a handful of “red flags.” The “red flag” results will be in my next post.
Her official diagnoses were:
Suppression of Binocular Vision
In summary, they believe our oldest “evidences functional and perceptual visual deficiencies in eye-hand coordination and visual directional concepts.” In addition, they believe she “has a visualization deficit that causes spelling and sight word recognition problems.” More information in the next post.