Building self-esteem and confidence is key to happiness and success in life. A child who struggles due to poorly developed set of visual skills often has emotional side effects. As a result, the child may feel unaccepted in their environment, leading to depression directly as a result of the inability to apply their visual skills efficiently. åÊA child may have 20/20 vision and pass all school screenings, but may be avoiding school related activities and be labeled as inattentive when in fact there is the possibility of an undiagnosed eye tracking or eye teaming problem.
For example, children who experience vision-related tension headaches or double vision can be diagnosed by an eye care professional and the treatment may not just be a new set of glasses or contacts. Going beyond optical devices, vision therapy will retrain the brainÛªs visual processing pathways with activities to enhance their visual proficiency. Once the visual skills are learned and developed through vision therapy, a child will begin to feel more secure and confident in their activities of daily living. One example is a patient of mine named Chris, who had always been very shy and introverted and never wanted to join social situations or participate in fast paced activities. At family functions he would tend to cling to his parents. His developmental vision evaluation revealed amblyopia (lazy eye) at 5 years old. Vision therapy was recommended and I began to tailor my activities to his personality and visual needs. This helped to build his visual system as well as the confidence in himself to achieve his goals. His teachers began to notice an increase in his confidence level from pre-school to kindergarten, the extended family seen a difference and most importantly the young man had seen the difference. As quoted by ChrisÛªs mother, words like ÛÏlook mom, watch what I can do!Û were common phrases.
Another example is a young female named Jaime whose parents were concerned with her inability to hit a softball, struggles with reading, reversal of letters yet remained at top of her class in math and science. Her diagnosis was oculomotor dysfunction (meaning deficiency in accurate eye tracking) and after vision therapy, Jaime was glad she was no longer struggling and that it was her hard work and determination that made it happen! Its like looking at the world through a new set of eyes, and not only can your eyes function and team together in the real world, but another bonus is the feeling of success, knowing they can overcome the struggles of life!
ItÛªs been a pleasure to work with all of the patients here at WOW Vision Therapy. It has been a very rewarding experience. Thank you Dr.Fortenbacher, Dr. Stull and WOW team.
Jennifer Jane Shaba,åÊIntern, Class of 2009, MCO