Success Story: Improvement in Ability to See in 3D and Coordination

Chloe was born with cataracts in both eyes which caused poor vision.  She had surgery to remove them in one eye, but this did not improve her vision.  We were told by her doctor that nothing more could be done. Since she was older, they thought her brain could not be taught to interpret what she sees without the cataracts. We heard about Wow Vision Therapy and were excited to give it a try. Chloe’s vision has not only improved, but also her binocular vision has improved. Binocular vision helps with her coordination and being able to see in 3D. Miss Cheryl, Dr. Aubrey and Dr. Fortenbacher were great to work with and even though Chloe had to work hard she still had fun and enjoyed her therapy.  Jonelle (mother)

Concentration and Ability to Stay Focused Have Significantly Improved

Jack has always excelled academically, but his standardized test scores for reading comprehension have never been at the level we knew he was capable of. His teachers over the years were never too concerned, as he excelled in the classroom and in other subjects, but a casual conversation with a friend who is a pediatric physical therapist suggested we speak with Dr. Fortenbacher. After completing his 30- session program, Jack’s concentration and ability to stay focused have significantly improved. He never resists reading or performing his WOW exercises, and his attention span has improved. His comprehension and reading rate have also greatly improved as well. We are grateful to the therapists at Wow Vision Therapy and their dedication to helping Jack improve. (Laura, Mother)

Abigail enjoys reading again and focuses better in school!

When I was younger I used to love school and reading, but when I was in third grade things started to get tough. Last summer I discovered a problem and it was my eyes. My grades were going down, my reading level wasn’t that great, and I had headaches when I had to read. When I would try to read at night the words would get blurry or double and I would fall asleep. It was so hard!

But since vision therapy started I began to see lots of changes happen with my eyes. Such as being able to look crossed-eyed again, learning to love reading more, and getting better grades in school. Vision therapy was fun but also hard at the beginning. I learned to like it more and also how to focus my eyes.

Now that I am graduating from vision therapy, I am excited that I am able to enjoy reading again and focus better in school. I loved my experience with vision therapy and I am so thankful that my doctor and therapist were able to fix my eyesight! – Abigail

Asa enjoys activities he had previously avoided!

At what I thought would be a routine annual eye exam, Asa was diagnosed with Convergence Insufficiency. His optometrist explained that not all doctors screened for this in a routine exam, but she knew the importance of doing so and the ramifications when it goes undiagnosed and therefore untreated. It wasn’t until she was in optometry school that she realized she had Convergence Insufficiency and went through some vision therapy herself. She shared some of the things she had struggled with in school and I could see that Asa would encounter more and more challenges himself.

Since he was diagnosed at the beginning of first grade, we were able to implement therapy before he had significant problems. Now that Asa has completed therapy, he no longer fears riding his bike. At school, he is able to complete his daily work because he can focus his attention and stay on task. He enjoys playing frisbee and will play catch with a small ball (activities he had previously avoided). Most importantly, he has developed a love for reading. His reading ability and comprehension has dramatically improved!

 

Kristina (Mother)

Improved Handwriting, Reading, Comprehension and Sports

While in 1st grade, I noticed Raegan was a much slower reader than the other children her age, and she would frequently leave out small words such as: and, a, the.

During the summer I took her to see the optometrist. She prescribed glasses, and was told that she had Convergence Insufficiency. The doctor recommended that she wear her glasses for a few months, and if there was no improvement we should consider vision therapy. By January, we saw no improvement and even saw that her comprehension grades were dropping.

We decided that it was time to have an evaluation with Wow Vision Therapy. This was one of the best decisions we have made for Raegan. After 25 sessions we have noticed improved handwriting; she is able to read much quicker without leaving out words, and her comprehension improved by a whole letter grade! Raegan is now reading her 1st chapter book!

Raegan has been playing softball for two years. She had only hit the ball a handful of times in those two seasons. This past weekend she hit two singles in one game! Raegan’s confidence has greatly improved while in vision therapy! Thank you Dr. Dan, Samantha, Jessica, and Alyssa for helping my daughter!
Rae (Mother)

Teacher Reported Great Gains

Robert initially was thought to have acuity issues at his well-child exam. He was then referred to an Optometrist, who then diagnosed him with Convergence Insufficiency. He could see 20/20. He had always struggled to read at grade level. He was always border line for intervention, making it even more difficult. His reading difficulties affected his confidence greatly. He is a quick learner and very perceptive. His struggles were perplexing and hard to understand why. Homework would take an hour or more, in part because of frequent meltdowns and also because of extra reading to help him improve his reading-level. Progress was slow and frustrating. We became hopeful with the Convergence Insufficiency diagnosis. Could this be the reason for his struggles in reading and if so, could this also carry over into his sports of hockey and baseball?

We attempted a month of home therapy and rechecked his progress with his optometrist. Robert’s Convergence Insufficiency had worsened significantly. His optometrist then recommended in-office vision therapy that he would provide. At his first visit, he did a more comprehensive exam. His optometrist found that not only did Robert have Convergence Insufficiency, but also he had issues with accommodation and tracking. It was at this point we were referred to Wow Vision Therapy.

There is a reason they have named it Wow Vision Therapy. Immediately, we became more aware of symptoms that we had dismissed. Head tilt when reading, reading out loud to comprehend what he was reading and distractibility- especially with homework. Since working with the vision therapists at Wow Vision Therapy (Pam, Emily and Dr. Edwards), Robert has drastically improved in many areas. His comprehension has improved from the level of a 4 year old, to now that of a 15 year old or beyond. He no longer struggles with homework completion. He often finishes it on the bus or within 20 min after being home from school. He is proud to say “Mom, I don’t have to read out loud anymore.” After returning to school from Christmas break, we hardly recognized his handwriting as his own. His Dad would have sworn that Robert’s sister had done his homework for him, only I had witnessed him completing his work. This was an improvement that we didn’t expect, but were very happy to see. At parent-teacher conferences, his teacher reported great gains in reading level, desire to read, handwriting and confidence.

We were very thankful to have him in vision therapy during hockey season. Robert sustained a level 2 concussion during hockey practice. It is hard to determine when to let them return to the sport. Wow Vision Therapy did a concussion screening on him as part of the initial evaluation. This was his baseline. Because we had this, we were then able to have an additional tool to help us decide when he was safe to return to play. This was very reassuring as a parent of a child who has suffered a concussion. With Robert’s hockey performance, his stick handling and skating improved making him one of the most improved players on his team. Now, we are at the start of baseball season. Robert has a 1.0 batting average after 3 at bats. He is now playing more infield position because he has an accurate glove. He has been making great plays while playing first, second, and shortstop. Long story short, we feel very fortunate to have discovered his diagnosis and even more fortunate to have been referred to Wow Vision Therapy. Thanks to Pam, Emily, and Dr. Ryan Edwards, their improvements have immeasurable life-long implications.

Karen (Mother)

Vision Impacts Several Areas of Life.

Vision therapy has improved Sydney’s functioning in five areas: driving, sports, penmanship, reading in the car, and remembering the location of items.

Four-way stops and busy parking lots were difficult situations for Sydney. She did not seem to “take in the whole picture” quickly enough and needed extra time to make her decisions. Since her therapy at Wow Vision Therapy, she now drives effortlessly through busy intersections and in areas which she has never driven before. Traffic maneuvers are smooth and safe!

During horse competitions, she is “hitting” her destinations with complete accuracy, to use her trainer’s words: “they are bionic!” Prior to therapy, she was close but would slightly miss the target spot just enough so that she would get point reductions.

Cursive handwriting has improved from being illegible to now being very easy to read. The difference is amazing and she no longer complains of having to write, a huge improvement.

Reading in the car always brought on headaches for Sydney. However, after working with the wonderful staff at WOW, she is now able to do this without pain and discomfort.

Knowing where she had left items in the home was always a mystery before her WOW experience. Now, she is much more independent in her comings and goings as well as her overall daily organization.

Wow Vision Therapy has helped Sydney not only in all of these areas but also in her level of self- confidence. The staff was always pleasant and worked hard to reach the goals that had been set at the start. We are fortunate to have these services within driving distance!

 

– Lori (Mother)

Correcting Wandering Eye with Vision Therapy

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“I will never take it for granted when my son looks me in the eyes with both his eyes at the same time.”

Our son Steven came to live with us when he was 11 months old after having been removed from a bad home environment.  He had a bald spot on the back of his head where he had been left alone for extended periods of time to stare at a white ceiling.  Consequently, his eyes were not trained to work together, to focus on objects, or to distinguish colors and dimensions. His left eye very prominently turned outward.

We had taken Steven to two different pediatric ophthalmologists.  He wore glasses since he was 18 months old.  For two years, we tried different prescriptions, patching and dilating drops to correct his wandering eye.  We were beginning to discuss surgical options, but I was not comfortable with eye surgery on a 3 year old.

Thank God we were told about Wow Vision Therapy! At the initial consultation, it was amazing to learn what all our eyes do to function properly, and what happens when they don’t.  It all made so much sense!  In July, Steven started vision therapy with Miss Krystal.

I distinctly remember in September looking at a picture of Steven someone else had taken.  It was the first picture of him I had ever seen where BOTH EYES were looking directly at the camera!  I will always cherish that picture as the “turning point” in our journey.  Steven now has full functions of both eyes and can use them together.

Thank you so much, Miss Krystal, for your skill and patience working with our son Steven.  It hasn’t been an easy road with a very active 4 year old, but the progress has been wonderful to see.  I will never take it for granted when my son looks me in the eyes with both his eyes at the same time. 

~Hillary

ADD: Treating the Cause, not the Symptoms

Over the past several decades, ADD and ADHD have become some of the most common behavioral labels of our children today. In 2011, the CDC reported that approximately 11% of children 4-17 years of age (6.4 million in the US) have been diagnosed with ADHD. But how often do we stop and think about the underlining cause of these conditions?

The standard treatment approach is to medicate with stimulants that force the child or adult to focus and engage their attention on tasks like reading and other school work. But is this approach just a bandaid?  Are we really helping our children overcome ADD and ADHD with medication alone?  What if there was another way?

Let’s face it. We all, at times, have trouble focusing our attention on tasks that are challenging.  Learning, by definition, is a challenge for the brain.  Learning is also a critical part of living a full life.  Our modern culture has made reading ability the prerequisite for efficient learning.  All too often, when children struggle with focusing, attention and learning, the problem begins with their basic ability to read.

Our vision and vision efficiency are the most critical human abilities that impact reading speed and comprehension.  If our eyes don’t scan words on a page efficiently, work well together as a team, or communicate information with the brain effectively, the most basic reading functions become overwhelmingly challenging tasks.  If a child can’t read as efficiently as their classmates, they fall behind.  When they fall behind, their teachers and parents become concerned.  The child is unhappy, frustrated and acting out.  The parent is unhappy and questions whether it’s their fault.  The entire family unit falls into chaos because the other children feel neglected.

Vision Therapy is the process of developing more efficient functions of the visual system and the brain’s comprehension and processing abilities of the information we read on the page or computer screen, as well as many other areas of daily living.  When a child or adult has difficulty focusing or maintaining attention on a single task, in many cases, a vision dysfunction is a likely cause of attention deficiencies.  So rather than treating the symptoms with medication, we treat the cause with noninvasive Vision Therapy.  As a result, the patient is able to focus on vision intensive tasks, like reading, with greater ease.  Comprehension is improved, which makes learning easier and ultimately the patient feels more competent, confident, productive and in general, happier.

The Visual Consequences of when a Mild Concussion becomes a Severe Brain Injury.

Too many patients who have a “mild concussion” exacerbate into a more severe brain injury, resulting in severe visual problems, often weeks and months after the injury. To emphasize this serious public health issue, The Colloege of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) has proclaimed March as Brain Injury Awareness Month.  Speaking directly on this subject, Drs. Fortenbacher, Stull and Edwards and the Wow Vision Therapist Team lectured on The Visual Consequences of when a Mild Concussion becomes a Severe Brain Injury…an Advanced Model of Neuro-Optometric Vision Rehabilitation Care at the Annual Michigan Vision Therapy Study Group Meeting in January at the Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University.

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Featured in our presentation was a case study of our patient Thomas whose story is told in this video.

To read more about their lecture, visit Dr. Fortenbacher’s post written for the VisionHelp Blog entitled:

Dizzy, disoriented, distressed…when a mild concussion leads to serious vision problems and how to find help