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Success with Visual Disabilities: Improved Eye Tracking with Vision Therapy

Testing Eye Tracking and Eye Hand Coordination

We sought out Vision Therapy because my son had daily bad headaches at least in part from his eyes not tracking together. He was in a car accident. [More]

I initially noted that her eyes were not tracking and aiming well. Since Vision Therapy, Alisha is reading more fluidly. [More]

... my son had trouble with tracking. The teachers knew about him having this problem but didn't know about eye therapy exercises.[<More]

Michael had a problem with eye tracking and focus. Unfortunately, we thought he was just lazy and slow. [More]

Since starting Vision Therapy, his reading has improved. He is not skipping words and sentences, and has become a more fluid reader. [More]

With Vision Therapy, we saw dramatic results in a relatively short time, compared with our year of tutoring. ... Reading is now a joy instead of a chore. I wish we had discovered Vision Therapy sooner! [More]

Vision therapy eye exercises to improve eye tracking and eye hand coordination.

My ability to sight read music has improved greatly since I began Vision Therapy. I have been able to track rapidly moving notes much faster.[More]

Visual Therapy sessions are a small price to pay for the excellent vision and freedom from glasses that is the result. The therapy not only helped his vision, but has helped his athletic performance and concentration as well. [More]

... we learned after his vision testing ... that he had a tracking disorder, and that he had very limited peripheral vision. He fatigued within minutes of focusing ... Now Sam has completed his Vision Therapy with great success and has enjoyed many victories.[More]

... my son had trouble with tracking. The teachers knew about him having this problem but didn't know about eye therapy exercises[More]

Eight years ago, as principal, I insisted that a particular child had a vision problem and should see an eye doctor. Results: the student had 20/20 vision, no glasses were needed, but he had a focusing problem. He was seeing double. We needed to do some Vision Therapy. The most exciting part of my whole teaching experience has been having students come to class week after week while participating in Vision Therapy and see the changes in them. [More]

She is now able to read a book without the words/letters "jumping" around. [More]

The activities she completed in therapy helped Caitlin with her tracking difficulties and we have reaped the benefits, which have spilled over into all areas of Caitlin's life. [More]

We thought that because of the two previous eye surgeries, and on-off eye patching for four years, that there might be a connection with her reading problem, but didn't know what to do about it. [More]


Read full stories below.

We sought out Vision Therapy because my son had daily bad headaches at least in part from his eyes not tracking together. He was in a car accident which caused this problem. He was unable to read more than a few minutes at a time; his concentration was bad; his pleasure in reading was very low. His body coordination was somewhat off. We had already gone to a psychologist, neurologist, and a psychiatrist. They were only nominal help.

He had his glasses prescription changed and most of the daily Vision Therapy work just became part of his homework. It was mostly self-directed at home since he was sixteen years old. I would check-up on him or remind him to do the work.

Since Vision Therapy, my son now has fewer headaches in a week instead of constant pain. He can concentrate for an hour on school work. He can pleasure read for many hours, taking small breaks to rest his eyes. His coordination is very good now. I've appreciated the humor from the therapists. It has helped to keep my son's interest.
Isaac's Mother

I had problems with eye hand coordination and had headaches almost all the time (about 12 hours a day) which led to problems with reading and school. Both have improved since Vision Therapy. Before Vision Therapy, I had seen a psychiatrist, psychologist and a neurologist, none of which helped much. Since beginning Vision Therapy, I have less headaches, I'm better in school and I'm reading a lot again.
Isaac (16 year old with Acquired Brain Injury)

Alisha sometimes mixed her letters and numbers by reversing them. Also, some of her words/letters were printed backwards. I initially noted that her eyes were not tracking and aiming well.

Since Vision Therapy, Alisha is reading more fluidly and has less difficulty in picking up words to pronounce.
Sam Leong, Alisha's parent

Since 2nd grade, my son has had trouble with tracking. The teachers knew about him having this problem but didn't know about eye therapy exercises that help with tracking. If there were eye exercises in school, then his tracking wouldn't have slowed him down. Fortunately, he is very smart and catches on to things very fast. Now that he is in Vision Therapy, his tracking has improved. He has said that he notices more things also.

Thanks to Vision Therapy, there are two more happy vision sighted people in the world.
Jean R. Fisher and son, 9/28/99

Michael had a problem with eye tracking and focus. He was not doing well in school and had problems with sports. Unfortunately, we thought he was just lazy and slow. Michael went for Vision Therapy for three months and very quickly improved in school. There are no more problems regarding sports either. Michael showed flashes of smartness and brightness before he had therapy. Now, after Vision Therapy, his real self comes through all the time.
Liz Cheim, Michael's parent, 12/28/01

Before Vision Therapy, there was a large gap between James' academic potential and his actual performance. Even though he is an intelligent boy, he was struggling with reading and writing. We were afraid that James would fall further and further behind in reading. We were also concerned about his self-esteem, even though he is a very bright boy.

Since starting Vision Therapy, his reading has improved. He is not skipping words and sentences, and has become a more fluid reader. Now that we have corrected some of his mechanical vision problems, we expect the reading and writing to continue to improve.
Gayle Lamar, James' parent, 2/13/02

Meagan struggled in reading, writing and math. After a year of tutoring with limited success, she was found to suffer from "eye tracking problems" and poor visual perceptual skills.

As a result of Vision Therapy, Meagan now reads with fluency. Since she is no longer skipping lines, "everything makes more sense!" Her writing and spelling have improved as well. Her teachers and parents are thrilled, and Meagan is proud.

With Vision Therapy, we saw dramatic results in a relatively short time, compared with our year of tutoring. Meagan is such a confident student now and shares her successes with me instead of asking me why all her friends could spell and she couldn't, and why did everyone else understand math and she didn't. Reading is now a joy instead of a chore. I wish we had discovered Vision Therapy sooner!
Jenny Sugiyama, Meagan's parent

My ability to sight read music has improved greatly since I began Vision Therapy. I have been able to track rapidly moving notes much faster, which has resulted in a general improvement in my performance level. I highly recommend this form of therapy to anyone who is having problems reading quickly.
Paul Green, Musician, adult patient, 4/28/99

When my son Paul graduated from sixth grade, I noticed that his eyesight was deteriorating. This loss of visual acuity would be particularly critical since he is heavily involved in baseball, where good eyesight is one of the keys to success.

When I had Paul's eyesight tested at Dr. X's office, my fears were confirmed; his eyesight was not 20/20 and there were problems. We were informed that eye tracking/eye training could be a viable alternative in lieu of wearing glasses. Paul undertook two six-week courses of Visual Therapy for eye tracking. At the end of the intensive training, an eye exam confirmed that he had 20/20 or better eyesight. His increased visual acuity was also confirmed by his success in baseball. The eye tracking helped him follow and focus on the flight of the ball, critical for both batting and catching.

In the subsequent year and a half, he has grown tremendously, and his eyesight was again beginning to deteriorate. Another round of Visual Therapy has again rectified the problem. I believe that these follow-up sessions will be necessary as long as he is growing. However, Visual Therapy sessions are a small price to pay for the excellent vision and freedom from glasses that is the result. The therapy not only helped his vision, but has helped his athletic performance and concentration as well. I recommend the program highly for vision repair as well as athletic performance.
Paul A. Ferrari, Paul's parent, 6/7/01

Before Sam was tested at your office, he struggled in school, music and sports, which caused much frustration. We first realized something was wrong when he would play the piano.

If he heard the piece played first, he would play it from memory, but he had great difficulty reading the music. In sports, he was constantly falling down. In school, he would get extremely frustrated, especially as the workload and homework increased.

What we learned after his vision testing was that he had a tracking disorder, and that he had very limited peripheral vision. He fatigued within minutes of focusing on whatever project or activity he attempted and he felt completely defeated.

Now Sam has completed his Vision Therapy with great success and has enjoyed many victories throughout the year. He is a different child altogether! His temperament is much calmer, he is able to complete tasks, he thoroughly enjoys reading, he plays basketball and soccer, and he sight reads music easily.

Sam finished the 5th grade at Odyssey a week ago ending the year with A's and B's, which is a huge improvement over his grades a year ago. He was also one of three piano students recognized by the state of Washington at a recent audition.

Your vision therapy program was a big commitment, and it was one of the best decisions I have made on behalf of my son's well being. I highly recommend it to parents of children who may be experiencing similar situations.
Sam's parent, June 19, 2003

Since 2nd grade, my son has had trouble with tracking. The teachers knew about him having this problem but didn't know about eye therapy exercises that help with tracking. If there were eye exercises in school, then his tracking wouldn't have slowed him down. Fortunately, he is very smart and catches on to things very fast. Now that he is in Vision Therapy, his tracking has improved. He has said that he notices more things also.

Thanks to Vision Therapy, there are two more happy vision sighted people in the world.
Jean R. Fisher and son, 9/28/99

I am writing my success story from a different perspective than that of a patient, or parent of a patient. I have been an educator for 45 years, functioning in such roles as a teacher, as principal and teacher simultaneously, as just a principal, and now as a director of a tutoring center.

About 20 years ago, an optometrist spoke at the Home/School association meeting. His topic was vision and reading. He spoke about how eye exercises could help some children to focus better and thus read better. He stressed the importance of teachers watching children's eyes to see what they were doing as the student read. His talk definitely inspired me. It changed the way I taught. I watched what was going on, and referred many students to the eye doctor, regardless of what school vision testing said. I saw changes in some students, and none in others. The search for effective learning solutions continued.

Eight years ago, as principal, I insisted that a particular child had a vision problem and should see an eye doctor. The teacher disagreed, saying "He can see everything else that goes on in and out of the classroom, he could read if he would just settle down, pay attention, and learn." I finally called the student's home and requested that he be taken to the eye doctor. Results: the student had 20/20 vision, no glasses were needed, but he had a focusing problem. He was seeing double. We needed to do some Vision Therapy. The student had a couple of visits with the eye doctor, and was given a few different exercises to help him with his focusing. There was some improvement, but not all this young fellow needed. It was, at least, something.

As I began my work as director of the tutoring center, I became more and more convinced that some of our students were not progressing. They were intelligent children, but were not focusing on the printed material before them. Reading just wasn't working. That year, I had my own eye exam in a new town. After it was over, I asked the doctor if she, or if she knew of any other doctor in the area who offered Vision Therapy. She knew of the therapy, but did not practice it, and did not know of anyone in the area that did. The search continued.

The following year, a student from the previous summer returned for the summer session. In hand was Dr. X's report of his initial visit with her, and the suggested plan for Vision Therapy. I called Dr. X and asked many questions. I wanted more information. We had a long and informative talk. Within an hour of that conversation, I had another parent call and ask me about Vision Therapy. She had heard about a doctor (a different one) who did this and wondered what I thought of it. I got the name and telephone number, and was on the phone gathering more information. Both places sent me a lot of written information.

About the same time, I was looking for a program called the Controlled Reader at the exhibits at the International Reading Association Conference. To make a long story short, I ended up with a Visagraph program, which shows what the eyes do as a person reads. I began using it with students who were having extreme learning problems, and began referring them to the two Vision Therapy clinics I knew about.

The most exciting part of my whole teaching experience has been having students come to class week after week while participating in Vision Therapy and see the changes in them. These are the success stories that have made all of the above so very worth while:

  • Tyler had been with us for 3 sessions, and first and second grade. His reading has improved. In spelling, he couldn't pass a shortened modified list, now he keeps up with the rest of the class and passes. Next year he will do the challenge words. He's happy. School is an okay place to be, and he doesn't have to come to the learning center any more.

  • Tricia used to say "Do I have to read?" Now, she comes bouncing into the center and down the corridor to her classroom, because she can't wait to get started. One day she was "lost." When she was finally located, she was in her room, READING A BOOK. She would not participate in sport activities before. She now joins her family in shooting baskets.

  • Michael couldn't focus on anything on the written page. Now he comes to announce that he got to read to the kindergarten today.

  • Richard can read now, and is so excited about being able to do what the rest of the class is doing.

  • Mothers call to thank me for recognizing their child's problem and referring them to the right help. Mothers are so happy about their child's progress that they cry as they tell me about the successes.

I could go on and on. I have referred many students to Vision Therapy. Not one person who followed through on the suggestion has told me that they are sorry for accepting the suggestion, or doing the therapy, or that they begrudge the cost.
Teacher and Educator

Before therapy, Sarah could read for a few minutes at a time. She got very frustrated with reading. Words were "moving" all around. She couldn't read the work on the chalkboard. Sarah also experienced headaches almost every day. I took her to several optometrists. Nobody knew what to do to help her. I was very frustrated.

After Vision Therapy Sarah's eye tracking has improved dramatically. She is now able to read a book without the words/letters "jumping" around. Also, she can now read from the blackboard without straining her eyes. She rarely gets headaches anymore. Sarah finally got the help she needed!
Katherine, mother of Sarah, 12, 5/9/02

I don't lose my place when reading and I don't have difficulty reading or copying from the blackboard.
Dana Beltran

When I read I don't lose my place now.
Katherine Marie Valdes

Katherine reads better and isn't skipping any lines in the paragraphs. She has started to wear her glasses more frequently, and I don't see her squinting her eyes.
Jose Valdes, Katherine's Father

Jenna is now successfully able to track across a page and rarely loses her place. Her "board to seat" work is very much improved. Her papers are now very neat, whereas before Vision Therapy her papers rarely made sense.
Carol Maffei, Jenna's Mother

Caitlin is a different child now. When Caitlin was tested by Dr. X in March 1998, she was seven years old and in second grade. She couldn't read anything. She was tested at school and by our eye doctor for problems, but nothing significant was found. It was obvious to my husband and me that there were real problems. Caitlin experienced frequent headaches, extreme frustration with schoolwork, low self-esteem. She was a bed wetter but seemed to control it during summer and vacations from school. Some of these things may appear unrelated to a vision problem but now Caitlin does homework without tears and in a timely manner. She only occasionally has a headache and has not wet the bed in nearly six months.

She is now 8 years old and repeating 2nd grade. She is still slightly behind in the class but is reading daily in school and at home. She reads books for fun now. Last week I was helping in her class at school as she read to the class. I almost began to cry with happiness. The activities she completed in therapy helped Caitlin with her tracking difficulties and we have reaped the benefits, which have spilled over into all areas of Caitlin's life.
Marie B., December,'98


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