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Visual Processing, Dyslexia Behavioural Optometry

(15 Posts)
plumtart Thu 15-Sep-11 13:57:38

Well, I have had so much support here that I wanted to share this good news in case it helps anyone else thinking about where to go next.

DS "diagnosed" with dyslexia with very low processing speeds in tests (below 1st percentile) As you can imagine, at this level it makes any school work almost impossible.

We went to a behavioural optometrist who tested for loads of stuff including visual processing (a timed test of reading single digit numbers vertically down the page) - he again scored below 1st percentile so proving the slow underlying processing speed.

The behav optom then did the same test again but horizontally - everyone will read this test slightly more slowly by a second or two. This tests for tracking I think (ability of eyes to move slowly along a line without getting lost) - ds was shocking at this and the difference in his times between the vertical and horizonal tests was also below 1st %ile (which is why his reading comprehension in any subject including maths is very poor).

Fast forward through 15 vision therapy sessions (£££££!!!) and we have a retest to check progress.

His underlying processing speed has increased from below 1st %ile to 30th %ile!!! And the horizonal single digit naming speed reduced from 90 seconds to 60 seconds!!!!!!!

Apparently these improvements will continue to develop a little more without any more vision therapy as the work done will have "unlocked" bits of his brain.

To be honest we were advised by our original assesor that there wasnt too much that could be done about visual processing speeds - but she obviously didnt know about behavioural optometry.

So, this is not to say that DS dyslexic traits have disappeared - but we are now absolutely in with a chance of moving forward.

Hope this helps someone.

mrsbaffled Thu 15-Sep-11 14:01:46

That's brilliant! I am umming and ahing about doing vision therapy with my DS (7) and it's the ££££s that worry me(!) So glad it's helping for you xx

plumtart Thu 15-Sep-11 14:11:53

mrsb - i dont know if it of any help to you at all, but we decided that £900 was money very well spent if it helped ds for the whole of his life, I mean his life might totally change as a result of the vision therapy. And on the other hand, if there was no improvment then we would know that we had done everything we possibly could and not kept a chance from him.

also there were other areas of great improvement but these were the biggies for us

DS was yr 6 so you have plenty of time to save up! smile

dolfrog Thu 15-Sep-11 14:22:03


good to hear that there is more is being done for those who have the visual processing issues which can cause the dyslexic symptom.

Nigel1 Thu 15-Sep-11 23:39:52

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moosemama Fri 16-Sep-11 10:32:41

Its lovely to hear how much vision therapy has helped your ds. Thank you for posting his results. smile

We've been considering it for ds1 for a while now, but weren't sure how beneficial it would be for him. His processing speed isn't as bad as your ds's was but was found to be significantly affecting his ability to do and complete work at school. (Sorry, I can't remember his figures off the top of my head, would need to look them up.) I do know that tracking left to right was one of his lowest scores and he has very little binocular vision, both of which were picked up at the optician, by the EP during testing and at his OT assessment.

We have found a BABO locally, but like you said its £££s and we aren't in a position to pay for it at the moment (ds has just gone into Y5). My parents offered to help us out with the cost initially, but things have changed for them recently and they can't afford it either at the moment. In the interim, he's been referred to the paediatric eye clinic at the hospital to see if there is anything they can do to help.

plumtart Fri 16-Sep-11 11:54:54

i wouldnt want to encourage you to spend more than you can afford, but does an interest fee credit card make this kind of thing affordable for anyone? the cost is the same but instead of having to save up first you get to pay in instalments, usually up to 12 months if you shop around. or maybe save half and borrow half?

lifesamerrygoround Fri 16-Sep-11 13:55:39

thanks for your experience plumtart! DS has DCD and we have just started VT as we also have concerns for Dyslexia. I worry that im a sucker for getting into these things and worry there are a con. I cant afford it, but tbh i will go to any measure to help DS.

Can I ask, do you see any improvements with reading yet?

plumtart Fri 16-Sep-11 16:05:53

absolutely - he is much less likely to miss words out, swap words round or guess suitable substitutions when reading aloud. His reading comprehension has improved very noticeably as a result since if you read all muddled up you cant understand what you are reading.

the problem went unnoticed for quite a long time as his coping mechanism was to develop very good scan reading skills, and therefore gained the gist of most passages so could scrape by on comprehension questions. but anything more detailed would reveal that he had got crucial bits of the passage muddled up or confused and so could nt REALLY understrand what he was readinhg.

lifesamerrygoround Fri 16-Sep-11 23:05:16

Thats great plumtart. I bet you are really relieved. Youve given me that bit of umphhh to keep at it. Its hard to make the right choices, theres so much out there that claim to help but hard finding the time and money. im just starting my way down the list grin

mumgoingcrazy Sat 17-Sep-11 21:20:53

This is a very encouraging thread. We are currently doing retained reflexes and once done will see a behavioural optometrist, but there seem to be different types of vision therapy.

Can I ask what what type of exercises you did with your DS? We have an eyeport but DD2 can't manage this and wonder if she is too young. She is 4.3yr.

plumtart Wed 21-Sep-11 20:42:15

ds went for 15 x 45minute unaccompanied sessions, then they saw us for 15 mins after each session and mentioned what areas they had worked on and gave us our "homework" - they really did all sorts using all kinds of equipment

the sessions were very full on hard work.

the homework would be 2 or 3 short activities to do most days in between appointments.

the thing is, the exercises they did and gave were not random, you couldnt achieve the same result by working through a book or a website. they took his personal weaknesses and did activities based on these - if he improved quickly they moved onto another area, they would revisit most skills using different exercises, they would build one skill on top of another.

sorry may not exactly answer your question but hope its a bit helpful

mrsbaffled Fri 23-Sep-11 17:23:19

How often did you go for the sessions?

plumtart Fri 23-Sep-11 21:00:29

once a week

telsa Fri 23-Sep-11 22:22:34

am about to start this. My DD (6) is having difficulties reading and writing and drawing and the ed psych gave us a profile of almost 100% in verbal reasoning but rather low in perceptual reasoning and I just wonder if behavioural optometry will help. Am also doing retained reflexes therapy, but there has been over 2 months gap between first appointment and second one (in a couple of weeks), so no idea if there has been any real shift on this - though my DD is progressing in terms of getting a little better at reading, a little better at balancing etc, but that might have happened anyway ???. Anyhow, be interested to hear about others experiences.

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