Vision Therapy – Behavioural Optometry
Vision Therapy or Training may be recommended for a number of reasons. Similar activities, set at different levels, can be used to build visual skills where they are immature or have never developed sufficiently, where they have been damaged due to illness or brain injury, or where they need to be honed to give competitive advantage, as in Sports Vision Performance Training.
In Vision Training simple fun activities are chosen to arrange conditions for visual learning. The activities help a person to be more aware of the information the brain uses to build good visual skills. This allows a person to understand and develop the quality of his own visual performance.
Who can benefit from Vision Therapy?
Adults and Children can benefit from Vision Therapy.
Do you or your child have any of the following difficulties / vision problems / eye conditions?:
- Learning difficulty
- Reading difficulty
- Writing difficulty
- Maths difficulty
- Computer Vision Syndrome
- Co-ordination problems
- Clumsy, spilling, tripping, bumping
- Dyspraxia or Development Co-ordination Disorder (DCD)
- Attention Deficit (ADHD) (ADD)
- Aspergers Syndrome
- Visual stress
- Lazy Eye or Amblyopia
- Eye Turn/Squint or Strabismus
- Acquired brain Injury
What is Vision Therapy?
Optometric Vision therapy is a structured program of activities that allow an individual to gain a better insight into the workings of his own visual system. Vision Therapy employs simple activities in order to promote heightened awareness, and more appropriate response to, existing feedback mechanisms to the visual system. This allows a person to monitor the quality of his own visual performance.
Feedback and awareness are used to develop and control visual performance and integrate vision more efficiently with other sensory information, in order to expand and refine visual space world. When a person achieves a closer match between his personal understanding of space and what is actually ‘out there’ he will be in a position to use vision more efficiently to direct appropriate and effective action, be it physical or mental.
Visual development continues by a process of comparison and matching of visual input with spatial information from other sensory systems, and it is this ability to match and compare information between sensory and motor processes that yields fine coordination of both visual and motor function. Therefore, limitations or mismatches within one sense or motor process will alter experience and effect how information can be matched resulting in imbalances or inaccuracies within all systems. As time goes on these mismatches remain within the system warping further development and affecting all future judgements. Anomalies of visual development are treated by altering perceptual and motor relationships affecting time and space judgements.
Here are examples Vision Therapy activities that can develop your vision:
- Activities that emphasis good body organisation (establishing a solid reference point for understanding of surrounding space) and enhance awareness of proprioceptive feedback (so that it may be more useful to the visual system)
- Activities to build in freedom between vision and balance and posture mechanisms
- Visualisation and manipulation of body and visual spatial schemes
- Activities to match size and space perception in the two visual channels
- Activities to enhance peripheral processing for good feedback to vergence eye movements
- Activities to develop Oculo-motor skills
- Activities to develop Binocular skills
- Vergence facility training
- Activities to develop Visual Perceptual Skills
When visual skills become more automatic maximum attention may be directed at work content, rather that on the act of concentration. This is how Vision Therapy can help. Vision Therapy develop your vision to allow you to use your full potential with ease.
How much does Vision therapy Cost?
Vision Therapy can be carried out in several different ways according to need, budget and time constraints.
Independent Vision Therapy Appointments
Independent therapy appointments are tailored to address a specific (but limited) area of need, poor convergence. Activities are demonstrated in practice to be worked upon daily at home. This can be extremely effective provided you are diligent in carrying out instructions and disciplined to work alone.
In-Practice Vision Therapy
In-Practice Vision Therapy works systematically through visual development from the beginning, working through gross and fine body movement, balance and postural feedback to the visual system, integration of vision with the other sensory-motor systems of the body, through more mechanical to perceptual visual skills, visualisation, hierarchy and visual thinking skills. This uses mostly real space activities and more sophisticated equipment (such as light boards, rotators, electronic balance boards, projected vectograms, walkrails, etc.) but also incorporates some work on computer vision therapy programs and Internet, alongside a concentrated home program with rapid changeover of activities to sustain interest and compliance and speed visual learning.
The number and spacing of appointments can be tailored to suit the individual but are booked in blocks of five. All equipment required is loaned and exchanged each week. A deposit of £50 is required for equipment and will be refunded when the last set of equipment is returned within three weeks of the last Therapy appointment.
From around £300 per block of 5 sessions (Includes therapy review)
Home Computer Vision Therapy Programs
Home Computer Vision Therapy Programs (there are a few and the most appropriate will be recommended) run on your PC at home or work. These can work on an automatic program that sets daily activities with goals to achieve and adjusts the program according to progress, or a program may be individually tailored by your Optometrist and adjusted over time as your skills improve. This is effective in certain areas of visual need, but is not usually enough alone, particularly if there are body feedback issues to be resolved. These programs are designed to work with minimal support but can be enhanced with additional real space activities.
One example often used for younger children is the HTS (Home Therapy System) – designed to improve eye muscle co-ordination and eliminate or significantly reduce symptoms associated with near point tasks, such as reading or working on a computer. It is easy to use and can run on any PC at home, at school, or at the office. The system can run on an automatic program, giving a series of activities to perform each day, with specified goals to achieve. The level of difficulty is automatically adjusted according to success. It encourages and motivates by progressing through increasingly difficult tasks in a manner that ensures success. It documents and stores achievements in each session so progress can be monitored. Results can be printed out or stored on the Internet so that your optometrist can monitor progress, online advice may be sent and adjustments to the program made if required.
FEE £125/program including email support.
Please ask for advice on the suitability of each type of therapy, but generally if there are difficulties of a dyspraxic nature, low muscle tone, loose ligament or delay in motor development, body organisation issues, or difficulties with letter formation (rather than just layout), In-Practice Therapy is recommended. If difficulties appear to be mostly perceptual (intermittent blur, loss of place, difficulty looking at page, slow speed and inaccuracy in copy work) but writing and maths are good and spelling fair then a computer program may suffice.