Medina Vision Centre has always had a special interest in pediatric vision and vision as it relates to learning. Students of all ages undergo an eye examination that includes testing of focusing, eye teaming, and reading and tracking eye movement skills. This is in addition to screening of color vision, depth perception, amblyopia (“lazy eye”), and refractive error (glasses necessity).
Why Is All Of This Necessary?
As a child develops, the eye’s ability to change focus, follow a target, and remember what they have just seen (visual memory) also develops accordingly. When a child enters the school-aged years, visual demands increase. Reading eye movement speed and efficiency develops, and reading tasks require more accurate eye movements to be efficient. If the eyes have not developed certain eye muscle skills, a child may not be able to read at age-appropriate levels.
There are many children who have undiagnosed developmental eye deficiencies which can impact their reading and academic success. If a deficiency is suspected at the initial eye examination, a vision and learning examination will be scheduled.
A vision and learning examination is performed after a standard pediatric eye examination to determine how well the student’s visual information is being processed by the brain. High functioning visual efficiency is achieved through coordination of eye-brain function. The vision and learning exam encompasses age-standardized tests that assess how well the student analyzes, organizes, remembers, and expresses visual information. From the information gathered at this exam, we are able to determine whether a vision therapy treatment program is indicated to improve visual perceptual skills. The examination and testing are not painful, and most patients describe it as fun!
Making A Diagnosis
When our testing process is complete, the results are reviewed by the doctor and discussed with parents. If a problem area is noted, vision therapy may be suggested.
Creating a Vision Therapy Plan
Vision therapy is a treatment plan used to correct or improve specific dysfunctions of the vision system. It is used not only to strengthen eye muscles, but also to improve the coordination, efficiency, and functioning of the visual system.
Our customized vision therapy programs are created specifically for each child’s needs. VT programs treat conditions including, but not limited to, strabismus (crossed eyes), amblyopia (“lazy eye”), accommodation (focusing), ocular motor function such as reading and tracking eye movement disorders,visual analysis, visual memory and visual fine-motor abilities.
For most conditions, patients visit a trained vision therapist at our office for 30-60 minutes per week. Since therapy programs are individualized, activities are aimed at improving specific visual weaknesses. We vary activities on a weekly basis to keep the patient at the peak of his/her performance level.