Special Needs

Vision therapy?

Has anyone's LO had vision therapy? The devel pedi referred my son for vision and hearing exams as part of the assessment process. Alex's PT has said he has visual-motor issues and that's been part of his PT therapy goals.

The eye exam was today. DH took Alex and now I'm wishing I had because I have questions! ;) The eye dr said Alex's vision is technically fine but that (at least the way DH explained it secondhand) he uses both his eyes and his head to track instead of just his eyes, and that's a delay compared to how he should be visually processing at almost 4. The dr recommended vision therapy and gave DH a brochure for a vision therapy center that he runs and said they'd be contacting us to set something up.

TBH I've never even heard of vision therapy. I guess this will address the visual-motor aspect? Alex's PT had recommended scaling back now and planning to move back to "as-needed" PT in January but Alex does still tend to trip and stumble a lot, bump into things, etc.; we're always having to remind him to "look where you're going" so I'm assuming this will help with those issues. Anyone with experience with vision therapy care to experience what it's like and if it helped your LO? Was your LO in vision therapy for similar issues?

fraternal twin boys born january 2009

Re: Vision therapy?

  • My DD has been in vision therapy for 10 months now (she's 13 months). I have a feeling your goals for vision therapy are going to be very different from ours, but just wanted to reassure you, that we've had a fabulous experience with our vision therapy. My DD is doing much better than the opthamologist thought that she would. I would definitely contribute that to the vision teacher and our follow-through with her "assignments." I hope you have as good of an experience as we have had so far. Feel free to PM me with any specific questions!
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  • Vision therapy can be a huge help with what you are describing. The child will learn how to use his or her existing vision more efficiently, which will definitely help with things like stumbling and also fine motor skills like doing puzzles, etc. You definitely do want him to learn how to turn his eyes and not his head.

    Does he have an IEP? If so, you should request in writing that he be evaluated for low vision services. A teacher of the visually impaired then would create visual-motor goals for him, and work with him at the school. Many TVIs are itinerant, so s/he might only see him once a week or so, but it definitely can make an impact.

    My son has visual-motor issues as well, receives low vision services, and I am going to school to be a TVI. :) 

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  • Thanks for the info!
    He does have an IEP; he gets an itinerant SN preschool teacher at our home for 1 hr/wk and also gets PT (and last semester got OT) 30 mins at home a few times a month. If his vision is technically OK but his issues are with tracking and visual-motor skills do you think he would qualify for services through the school system?
    fraternal twin boys born january 2009
  • It's hard to say. What they did for us was schedule a low vision assessment at a low vision clinic. The Dr. who did that assessment made the IEP recommendation.

    Our son has strabismus, amblyopia, and is farsighted. The assessment revealed he was not using his downward gaze to look at things close up.

    So I would talk to the intervention specialist and ask him/her about the low vision assessment. It's really neat because you learn a lot about what your child actually sees and how s/he uses his/her vision. I would ask sooner rather than later because I heard laws may be changing to place the expense of the low vision assessment on the family, and they can be expensive.


  • We actually had a vision therapy session today!

     We are in a different city than our vision services, but we have an amazing PT and OT that go with us to our therapy sessions (once every 3 months) and get strategies to use in their sessions.  This has really helped our daughter (11 months).  The first time we went she had her glasses for only 6 weeks and was 3 months old.

     If you don't qualify for services, but do qualify for an evaluation, see if your PT can come with to get some tips and information from the vision therapist.

     Good luck!

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