Vision Therapy

(10 Posts)
ruthiebabes70 Mon 10-Jun-19 12:59:17

Posting here as I wanted to share the huge success we've had with DD age 13 and vision therapy. After several years getting by in primary school but struggling with concentration, spelling, writing - we decided at the beginning of Y7 to pay for an Educational Psychologist (EP) report. That was back in Dec 2017. Whilst the EP report didn't diagnose any major issues, they did suggest Occupational Therapy or Vision Therapy might be worth investigating. I'd never heard of Vision Therapy before and when I looked it up there were very mixed messages and some strong opinions online. My DH thought it was a load of mumbo-jumbo but we were keen to do something. Thankfully we opted to look into Vision Therapy first (before the occupational therapy). DD started vision therapy in March 2018. It involved weekly visits to the Paul Adler practice in St Albans - I've since found out we were incredibly lucky to have an optometrist that did vision therapy within driving distance. Sadly, there is no NHS funding in our area for this sort of treatment. As well as weekly visits we had to do daily exercises. It was hard work - for me as well as my DD! However, after eight months of daily exercises, I can honestly say the results were transformational! The reading, writing, spelling, memory and concentration have improved massively. She's like a different child. Now in Y8 DD is currently doing end of year exams - the difference compared to last year is amazing. Her concentration and memory are unrecognisable.

My reason for posting: when I was looking for information on Vision Therapy back in January 2018, Mumsnet was a great source of solace for me. We entered into it wondering if the investment and time would be worth it - I can honestly say it is hands-down the best money we've spent on DD. It really does work. I should add that we were particularly lucky that the practice we went to in St Albans, Paul Adler Optometrists takes a holistic approach, so our daily exercises weren't just for tracking and convergence of the eyes, but also retained reflexes. I've since recommended Vision Therapy to several people. If you're having doubts about it, I would definitely go ahead, it's changed our lives here smile

OP’s posts: |
KisstheTeapot14 Tue 11-Jun-19 11:13:36

We also did this (private optometrist as no NHS to be found at time). Had good results too with simple exercises.

What retained reflex stuff did they do? Would be interested to try some with DS. Do you have to do them in a certain order?

ruthiebabes70 Thu 13-Jun-19 19:06:08

Hi @KisstheTeapot14, from what I remember the reflex exercises were: spinal galants, STNR (symmetric tonic neck reflex), Moro reflex, ATNR (asymmetric tonic neck reflex) and angels in the snow - which develops laterality aspects of body image as they relate to movement and position in space. I'm not sure about the order of doing these - I'm assuming that's down to an individual assessment...

OP’s posts: |
Hello1290 Sun 16-Jun-19 19:56:07

Thanks for posting ruthie. We briefly looked at this when DD was a lot younger. She has an Adhd diagnosis which I understand can have similar symptoms to convergence insufficiency.

Can I ask did your DD have problems with drawing and playing sport too?

It's great that your DD has had positive results from the therapy. Does she still have to do eye exercises ?

ruthiebabes70 Mon 17-Jun-19 11:46:29

Hi hello1290, yes her dexterity was definitely affected by tracking and convergence issues - so her handwriting (and drawing) and sport coordination has improved too since doing the exercises. She had to do exercises every day for nine months. We finished those in Oct 2018 and she recently had a check-up which confirmed everything was working brilliantly. She will now go to annual checks, just to make sure nothing has changed.

OP’s posts: |
KisstheTeapot14 Mon 17-Jun-19 12:02:42

ruthie - how long did you do exercises for each day?

Ours has dyspraxia so hoping that long term he can improve his motor skills etc via exercises. Have read best time to do is up to around 11/12 years as brain fairly flexible to improve during window of childhood (seen this twice in books written by OT's)

Hello1290 Mon 17-Jun-19 18:27:57

Thanks I'm thinking it's probably something we should check out again.

ruthiebabes70 Mon 17-Jun-19 19:49:23

Exercises for convergence and tracking took 5-10 minutes each day, exercises for retained reflexes were similar. We separated the two sets and usually did the reflex exercises just before bed.

OP’s posts: |
Aemos Tue 20-Apr-21 07:35:28

Thank you for posting this. I found this by a ‘vision therapy mumsnet’ search, looking for positive stories like this. My son has just had a vision therapy assessment and I’m very much hoping it will help with his concentration and academic difficulties.

NotDonna Tue 20-Apr-21 23:58:56

Just to add my DD had vision therapy at Owen Leigh’s Optometry in Petersfield. It’s pretty intensive and not cheap. My daughter was brilliant doing it daily for the first six months (aged 14) and had huge improvements. On re-assessment the issues were at 75-90% ‘normal’. She was due to have another lot of sessions but covid hit and she didn’t fancy it online. She then restarted in December online as worried it’ll worsen but she didn’t really engage, especially with GCSEs looming, and hardly ever did the daily exercises (possibly twice weekly). She had another assessment recently and issues are at 90% so a vast improvement, despite sporadic compliance. She says is hugely different and doesn’t see the point in more therapy as it’s ‘good enough’ at 90%. It was well worth it!!

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