Based on the test results we were given, their interpretation, and plan of action, we do not see an overriding reason to pursue Vision Therapy at this time.
To go back to our reasons for looking into Vision Therapy:
– Reading Issues – Not wanting to read anymore, comprehension going down, etc.
– Writing Problems – Pencil phobia, fine motor skills – coloring out of the lines, bad manuscript handwriting — can we remove barriers to make school easier / less of a struggle?
– Sports – Less coordinated than peers
– See if there were eye-related issues that could be helped
Their results showed deficiencies in the following areas:
– Eye Tracking & speed of focus
– Fine motor (hand-eye coordination)
– Gross motor as it pertains to bilateral movement
– Visualization & visual memory as it relates to “sight words”, normal or above averages with shapes)
– Directional confusion in terms of automatic & accurate self-awareness of laterality and directionality.
Their proposed plan deals with eye focusing and tracking, development of directional concepts, visual recognition and memory, body awareness and control, and improving fine motor skills. They indicated that for “no additional cost or time,” they could roll-in the areas they felt our child was not “up to her potential” in and make her a “superstar.” (Something some parents would be thrilled to hear, I assume. We are not looking for a superstar.)
These look like good matches, don’t they? So why not move forward with it?
– If we did go ahead, we would ask for the “visual recognition” part to be removed from the proposed plan. I do not want to work at cross-purposes with my daily phonics work. While the actual therapist said it would not be anti-phonics, the doctor said what they planned on doing would “REMOVE” her phonics and “REPLACE” it with “whole word” approaches.
– The body awareness/directionality do not worry us overmuch. We will plan games and work on this as part of our homeschool plan.
– Fine motor – I realized as I was talking to the actual therapist (after meeting with the doctor) that much of their prescription will be “practice.” In the case of Fine Motor skills, it is not an eye issue (as shown by the visual score being slightly above average) – it is a “motor” problem. The “integration between eye and body” tested in the normal range, although low. Her “pencil phobia” will not be improved with more writing. That will only fatigue her and frustrate her. However, their results did show I need to spend some more time correcting inappropriate habits she has developed in what she does write. Her cursive is already showing improvements over her manuscript.
– Gross motor / bilateral integration: This area is beyond my skills to address, but could be worked on with physical therapy which we will look into separately.
– Eye tracking and focusing – This is the one area I am most concerned with. Several parents with children who have issues like my daughter have impressed on me the benefits of vision therapy. We plan on waiting for a couple more years and looking back into VT with another provider then to address this key area.