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Behavioural Optomotrist

(31 Posts)
Eveiebaby Sat 22-Sep-12 22:14:38

Has anyone taken their child to a Behavioural Optomotrist? I want to get DD's eyes thoroughly tested she is six years old with SEN and is complaining a lot about not liking handwriting at school plus other things that are on the checklist for the BO's I have looked at.

I was looking for a bit more info about what the examination involves and also after implementing the given exercises did anyone see improvements in their childs learning at school?


horsemadmom Sun 23-Sep-12 08:24:31

GO!!!!!! It was life changing for my DD. PM me.

Ontesterhooks Sun 23-Sep-12 09:00:08

Has she had a 'normal' eye test first ? Get referred to an orthoptist via your gp first if not (they do not charge so have no financial incentive to "treat" )

lionheart Sun 23-Sep-12 10:18:59

Went to one for an assessment just yesterday. Two hours of sight related stuff mirrors, lenses, a little bit of copying and reading, tracking, 'bilateral integration' (!) plus things to do with space and body movement, co-ordination. We are in a similar position to you, Evie (SEN and writing issues).

It's a very complex field but the person we saw seemed to know her stuff. Won't get the report for a couple of weeks so am not far enough into the process to advise you on that. The one we saw was in Hampshire (North), if that is near enough to you.

scrablet Sun 23-Sep-12 10:19:10

It changed my DD's outlook from possible dyslexia to competenet reader in a year. She couldn't read cos the poor soul couldn't see properly!

lionheart Sun 23-Sep-12 10:19:44

Argh, didn't mean to cross that out. Probably couldn't do it again if I tried!

scrablet Sun 23-Sep-12 10:24:24

Oh, Ps, my DD would not do the exercises, so got glasses. This is apparently fairly common as the exercises can be uncomfortable.
And she is competent, not whatever I said!

Eveiebaby Sun 23-Sep-12 16:18:01

Thanks for the replies ladies

Ontester - Yes she has had a normal eye test locally plus we did go to the Orthorptist at our local Child Development Centre but I wasn't impressed as her eye test was a quick less than ten minutes job - it seemed to me that our local optician did a much more thorough test.

Lionheart - Thanks for the info - Hampshire is a little bit too far - ok for a one off appointment but would not work if we had to go back for several follow ups

Scrablet - Good to hear that your DD has had success

Horsemad - I will Pm you

betterwhenthesunshines Mon 24-Sep-12 08:59:09

Yes, I went to one in Golders Green (other side of London to me so quite a trek). He identified a number of problems and we had various exercises to do. We started last December, so just before she turned 7. We visited every 2 weeks initially for an hour each time to go through exercise changes. You prob wouldn't need to go that often, but for us it kept the momentum going.

DD had a visit to a regular optician and when I mentioned she was having difficulties they prescribed some glasses as she was borderline for needing them. BO made some minor prescription adjustments with a bifocal lens (at which point she went "ooooh! smile " as he said they would take off the strain. She is supposed to wear these for all school work. Often she doesn't but I notice the differnce when she does. Apparently she won't need them for ever if she continues to improve her eyes. Last time he tested (June) there was a noticeable improvement in all results - I could actually see the speed at which she adjusted. The exercises were quite fun, but tiring and they used to take us about 20-30mins each night.

She has also been doing the EasyRead program, which has also helped her a lot.

lionheart Mon 24-Sep-12 09:18:06

Evie it would be a fuff for us to have a regular set of appointments but the BO said this is often the case so she can give us stuff to do at home if need be. smile

better: we got an 'ooh' from DS when he looked through one of the coloured lenses. Hopefully that means something!

Corriewatcher Mon 24-Sep-12 09:47:49

I would endorse all the comments above. An occupational therapist we had visited for handwriting issues recommended the behavioural optometrist who in turn diagnosed double vision and a squint (neither of which had been picked up by a recent normal eye test). She had weekly appointments for 8-10 weeks and we had to do daily exercises, but it resulted in a massive improvement in DD's sight and school work. Would definitely recommend. We went to one in St Albans just off M25 so PM me if you would like details.

betterwhenthesunshines Mon 24-Sep-12 09:49:51

The BABO list is here

smee Mon 24-Sep-12 10:11:56

City university clinic We're going to this place next week. Can let you know what we think if you like.

MRSJWRTWR Mon 24-Sep-12 10:37:23

DS1 (13yrs) went to see one last year due to ongoing problems with reading, spelling, writing etc. I almost cried when the optometrist put various lenses on him and then asked him to read something and DS1 said "the words arent moving anymore!". He has been wearing glasses to correct a tracking problem and he now reads everyday for pleasure! Has even saved up and bought himself a Kindle and his writing has also improved.

DS2 (6yrs) has also been experiencing some problems so I took him earlier this year (he was 5 at the time. Apparently, he was a bit young for diagnosis but the optometrist is fairly certain he will need some help and I have to take him back early next year.

LateDeveloper Mon 24-Sep-12 10:58:08

smee - please do report back. Very interested for ds age 6. The only trouble is he has quite significant SEN so I'm not sure would cooperate with doing the exercises. Recent eyesight showed good vision (a little long-sighted) but his Special School and myself are pretty sure he has big problems with visual processing.

smee Mon 24-Sep-12 11:12:29

I'd guess they're used to kids who don't co-operate, but will let you know. have you tried him on basic overlays (get tinted pack of document pockets from stationers). Far from scientific, but my son was blown away by green overlay. I had no idea words moved when he saw them. All v.interesting..

LateDeveloper Mon 24-Sep-12 13:29:12

Thanks Smee. Love your experiment with document pockets and what an amazing reaction.

Eveiebaby Mon 24-Sep-12 20:12:56

Thanks again to all for sharing your interesting experiences - yes smee if you could report back that would be good - did you have to wait a long time for the appointment?

PeasandCucumbers Mon 24-Sep-12 20:33:08

MRSJ Could you let me know who you went to as from other threads I think you are quite near me (Worcs?) Thanks

smee Wed 26-Sep-12 10:24:39

Eveiebaby, no you have to pay up front though. I posted a cheque and they phoned me next day to arrange an appointment. They had reasonable availability for two weeks ahead. Will let you know how it goes.

LateDeveloper Wed 10-Oct-12 11:59:26

Hi guys just bumping the thread. Hope Smee can give us an update?

Eveiebaby Wed 10-Oct-12 20:24:29

DD had her BO appointment. She is mildly long sighted which is having an impact on her binocular vision but due to her age we were told it could resolve itself with maturation. Theraputic glasses were suggested so I am thinking about that option at the moment as I had never heard of them before! Apparently they help with eyestrain.

smee Thu 11-Oct-12 13:49:48

Updating as promised. So DS went to specialised Optometrist last week. She started by testing his eyes for vision problems. Found none (yay!) Then did some tests with coloured overlays. Basically seeing if any of them helped to stop words moving round, etc.

DS ended up with purple and blue combined. She then got him to read a long paragraph of simple, random words against the clock. In one minute with overlays, he read 98% of the words and made 2 mistakes. She then repeated the test without the overlays (using the same words) and he read only 72% of the words and made loads of mistakes. He skipped several words and also missed several whole lines.

I was a bit blown away to be honest, as it's such a significant difference to both speed and accuracy. We got the overlays to take away with us and are going back in a few weeks to see if we want to progress to more detailed assessment and coloured lensed glasses. Think we will though. Would seem mad not to. In other words, I would highly recommend it!

We got the eye test on the NHS, but had to pay for the more specialised bit. I received a written report through the post today, and it describes him as having Meares-Irlen Syndrome, so am off to do a bit of research into that.

Eveiebaby Thu 11-Oct-12 17:46:47

Seems it was worthwhile going smee - thanks for the update!

LateDeveloper Sun 14-Oct-12 22:25:06

Thanks for both the updates. Will definitely think about getting an appt for ds

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