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Does vision therapy work for children with squints? Any success stories? Or even unsuccessful stories?

(4 Posts)
Ineedsomesleepzzzz Sun 07-Aug-16 22:25:14

Hoping someone can offer some advice please. DS aged 7 has a squint. He mainly uses his left eye but jumps to using right eye. (So he never uses both eyes together.) Aged 2 he had surgery to cosmetically correct the appearance of the squint and we were told there was pretty much 0% chance of him ever using both eyes. Now aged 7 the appearance of the squint has pretty much returned and he gets comments such as freaky, scary, weird eyes from children (although fortunately not his friends) and this upsets him as he’s quite a sensitive boy. We have an appointment with the hospital at the end of the month to discuss more surgery. However on top of this, he’s had a few learning issues at school and now after seeing educational psychologists and speaking to the teachers it’s believed that it could be linked to his sight (so not how clearly he sees with his eyes but how his brain sees and uses information, if that makes sense). He scored very low on visual spatial tests and can sometimes seem uncoordinated. His other areas of learning from the tests ranged from average to well above average.

Anyway I’ve recently finished reading a book called ‘Fixing my gaze’ which is about a woman with the same eye diagnosis as DS who started vision therapy with a behavioural optometrist and after a lengthy process regained her binocular sight. I keep wondering whether there’s any harm into looking into this further for DS. I am confident that NHS will not help and am willing to pay privately/travel for someone good who can help but I don’t know if I’m clutching at straws seeing as NHS surgeons have said in past nothing can be done. In the back of my mind however I keep thinking it’s a long process with unknown results and therefore the NHS will not pay, plus the departments are overseen by surgeons who specialise in surgery. Any advice anyone? Thanks.

Corneliussnitch Thu 11-Aug-16 23:26:24


I'm an orthoptist and see many parents/patients who are keen to investigate vision therapy
The person who wrote fixing my gaze is a neuroscientist and describes having regained binocular vision following vision therapy, she describes her world as being flat before vision therapy but this is not true as your ability to perceive depth is not just reliant on having binocular vision. If you shut one eye you see things as somebody without binocular vision sees things and you still have the ability to judge distance and depth although it is not quite as accurate as when you have both eyes open.
Vision training/ exercises can help in certain situations and the NHS does use exercises for some conditions however vision therapy is only likely to help in certain types of squint when the squint is only present intermittently or the squint is of later onset when the child has had a period of binocular vision before the squint develops. Orthoptists have in the past done a lot more vision therapy but as our understanding of visual development has advanced we only use exercises/visual training for a few conditions.

TinklyLittleLaugh Fri 12-Aug-16 13:29:38

My son had vision therapy on the NHS for Browns (kind of a vertical squint). He was seeing double at one point, I think he was about 8; his ability to read kind of fell off a cliff.

Happily double vision sorted after a few weeks of doing the exercises religiously. He has apparently grown out of his Browns which is not unusual.

Your DS issues sound a bit more complex. I know it can be very worrying but I think NHS treatment is generally pretty good. You see very few adults with squints.

Ineedsomesleepzzzz Fri 12-Aug-16 21:15:07

Thanks both for your replies. I appreciate that there's probably nothing I can do, it's just many (if not all) of the problems highlighted in fixing my gaze is exactly what my son struggles with & I just couldn't help but get my hopes up. Thanks again!

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