Vision Therapy

Why Luci Johnson, daughter of the former President Lyndon Johnson, nearly dropped out of school

Due to undetected vision problems, Luci Johnson, daughter of the former President Lyndon Johnson, nearly dropped out of school while her father was in the White House.

After taking nearly every test imaginable, Luci was told she was bright but not living up to her potential. She became so frustrated that she began blacking out during her tests.

It was only after visiting a local developmental optometrist and taking a comprehensive vision related learning exam that Lucy was able to regain her confidence and stay in school. The doctor found that she had tracking and focusing problems that distorted everything she tried to read or write.

Once Lucy completed a course of vision therapy in the doctor's office, her grades went from C's and D's to A's and B's and she went on to become an honor student. She went on to become the head of an organization called Volunteers for Vision and helped screen several thousand children for the kinds of visual problems she experienced.

As she noted in one of her speeches, "if the key to a better society is education, then the key to a better education is better vision. If you don't have that key, you can't open the door to a better life".


The Eyes have it: A Reflection on the Workings of the Vision Therapy Program

Vision is not just the ability to see clearly. It is the entire process of organizing and integrating light and sensory input, understanding and recognizing what is seen, and responding in an exact and precise manner. When there are problems in the visual system, adaptations are created to account for a lack of normal/optimal visual development. These adaptations can happen in many forms including Amblyopia, Strabismus and sometimes Nystagmus. Symptoms include (but are not limited to) accommodative excess, convergence insufficiencies and binocular dysfunctions. The Vision Therapy program facilitates an opportunity for the individual to develop vision through necessary and meaningful experiences. Patients are categorized into one of three levels based on their symptoms, under the careful direction of a qualified Optometrist. Activities used in the duration of the program are implemented for the unique needs of each patient. The goal of a vision therapist is to facilitate the ability for a patient to attain the unmet visual needs through learning, whether this is indicated in optometric data or not. Vision Therapy is not restricted to patients with visual dysfunctions, but is also implemented for management and improvement of symptoms seen in patients with Traumatic Brain Injury, ADHD and even Autism.

Sumaira Mumtaz
Supervisors: Dr. G. Ullal & Dr. P. Fink

Ophthalmology finally agrees that vision therapy is a better option than patching

It is very encouraging to see that the ophthalmology community is finally acknowledging that vision therapy is the best option for amblyopia...not patching or surgical correction. Optometry has been doing vision therapy for over 50 will be interesting to see if referrals will be made to optometry from ophthalmology or if they will need to reinvent it to call it their own.

Dr. Patricia Fink

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