Vision Therapy Success Stories

"This is the result I never expected to have from vision therapy: I get to re-imagine who I am. I'm not clumsy; I'm not ditzy, I'm not strange. And I can't wait to see what will happen next..."

Julee; Age 64

 

My vision problems started about the same time I changed jobs at age 52.  Part of my day was spent reading a series of small numbers and transferring them into a computer.  I noticed that it would take a bit to focus clearly on the numbers.  I saw my optometrist and he put a prism in one lens of my glasses lenses.  It solved the problem, and I was happy, but it didn’t last. Over the years they increased the power of the prism and added one to the other lens.  Over the next 12 years, problems of double vision and poor depth perception persisted. 

 

I was determined to find an Optometrist that would take more time to test my eyes thoroughly and adjust my prescription to reduce the affects the prisms.  I felt that my eye sight was not bad, and I just needed something different to enjoy seeing more normally.   Although I wasn’t sure what that would be.

 

On my first appointment Dr. Stephanie Emmert suggested vision therapy.  I was hesitant, because of my age, the length of the commitment, and the cost.  I was skeptical, considering that I knew nothing about vision therapy or if it would work for me.   Dr. Emmert explained quite thoroughly about the process, and suggested I talk it over with my husband.  Later that week we made an appointment to talk further with Dr. Emmert and that was the beginning.

 

There were many times working through the different exercises, that I became frustrated.  Having a breakthrough was like winning the race!!  Who would have thought a little hard work and determination could train my brain to see differently. 

 

Today my glasses have no prism, and when I put them on for the first time it was like seeing a new and improved world!  I can see small words and numbers instantaneously and the sidewalk and curbs are where they are supposed to be.  I still do some eye stretches, and have rare blurring with low light vision.  But that too is improving as I continue to do eye exercises in low light.

I am very happy with the results of the vision therapy program, and how it has improved my everyday life with better vision.

Sawyer; Age 10

   -Sawyer's success story is told by his mom

 

Before Vision Therapy:

 

Struggled with reading and writing. High level of frustration--tears during reading homework.

 

Attempting to Get Help:

 

Tried just coaching him in reading--practice practice! But it got very frustrating as a parent as well. I could not understand what was "wrong."

 

Since Completing Therapy:

 

He reads so much better. He will now write an entire page when assigned a writing challenge. His teacher has noticed improvement! 

Sharolyn; Age 16

   -Sharolyn's success story is told by his mom

 

Before Vision Therapy:

 

She was getting headaches daily and sleeping all the time she wasn't doing homework. Homework would consme up to six hours of her day sometimes, because it was so difficult to focus and see.

 

Attempting to Get Help:

 

None--other than getting a regular eye exam. (Her vision disorder was not caught)

 

Since Completing Therapy:

 

She spends considerably less time on homework and the headaches are nearly completely gone. I am convinced that if it weren't for the treatments and therapy she received at River View she wold have struggled with her eyes for the rest of her life.

 

Thank you Stephanie, Susie and Jordan for your amazing help!

Jacob; Age 12

   -Jacob's success story is told by his mom

 

Before Vision Therapy:

 

Jacob had always disliked school, and struggled with reading and comprehension. But by the time he was in 6th grade, it was clear there was something “not right.” I went to the school, I talked to the counselors and I found a way to make the school district test him for learning disabilities—for any way to explain why things were so hard for him. His writing was horrible, he took hours to just copy something for homework and he hated reading. He was failing or almost failing many of his classes. I had run out of punishments and incentives and we hadn’t made any progress.

 

Attempting to Get Help:

 

One of the requirements to getting the school district testing performed was that I had to get his vision checked. I figured this was just a formality, a hoop to jump through, since he’d had his vision checked many times before—annually at school health checks and with every well child check at the pediatrician. We’d also gone to the MD to assess whether there could be a learning disability or ADHD contributing—anything that we could have missed that might explain his struggles.

The eye doctor saw only the slightest need for glasses but he did think there was something worth looking into a bit more, so he referred us to Dr. Emmert.

In the meantime, the school district testing diagnosed Jacob with “Irlen Syndrome” and the tester said she’d “never seen someone with so many of the issues of Irlen at the same time.”

 

Since Completing Therapy:

 

Jacob now reports he has no problems with words moving on the page. He is much less stressed about school this year. He reports no headaches and his eyes focus easily from board to paper. And I noticed, this year at practice, he can catch a ball! (Another thing he’d never done well and I just attributed it to it not being his talent). It was a great relief to Jake, and to us, to know there was a REASON and that we could do something to fix it!

I cannot say enough good things about Dr. Emmert and all her staff. They have worked so well with Jacob, kept his spirits up, guided him to self motivate for his therapy. They were always helpful and always pleasant to deal with.

Eternally grateful for the enormous strides we’ve seen in Jake this past year! 

 

 

J; Age 9

   -J's success story is told by his mom

 

We took our son to a routine eye exam never thinking anything was wrong.  He was diagnosed with convergence insufficiency and we were surprised, but wanted to do whatever we could to help him.  Though we didn’t realize anything was wrong before, during the course of vision therapy we noticed several changes. 

 

At first our son had trouble tracking a Marsden ball.  I could watch his eyes lose track of it and then jump to find it again.  I had no idea how stressful it was for him to try to track that ball until after several weeks of vision therapy when I noticed a dramatic change in his posture.  He could now track the ball smoothly with his eyes, but what stood out to me most was how he was able to stand relaxed, comfortable, and confident during the exercises.  He looked like a different child.

 

Before vision therapy our son’s eyes were often red from him rubbing them.  He would also tend to stare out into space, especially in the evenings.  I was concerned he wasn’t getting enough sleep, but my attempts at getting him to sleep more were to no avail.  He wasn’t tired, just his eyes were.  I was also concerned his red eyes might be a symptom of some kind of allergy, but he didn’t have any other symptoms.  After vision therapy both the excessive eye rubbing and staring off into space have disappeared.  He doesn’t do either one any more than anyone else might.  I am happy to know his eyes are now strong enough to serve him for as long as he wants to be awake each day!

 

 

 

Allison; Age 54

 

I came to River View Family Eyecare a year ago because I felt my eyes weren't working together well. It was very hard to compare figures from a page to a computer screen, which I do a lot in my job, and I'd noticed that one eye turned in when I got tired. Dr. Emmert's evaluation showed that in fact my eyes had never worked together at all. I had no depth perception and a limited sort of tunnel vision, but I'd learned to compensate so I didn't know what I was missing.

We started with the most basic exercise: seeing objects move past me on both sides at the same time. It felt impossible at first. It was a real kick when I realized I'd learned the knack. Since then Dr. Emmert has trained my eyes to follow a moving ball, look from one set of letters to another without losing my place, and fuse one image out of the two images my eyes see. Each time she introduces an exercise, she first has to make me understand what I'm supposed to see (what everyone else sees without even thinking about it). Then I have to hack at the exercise until my eye muscles understand the movements required - and then I can start actually working.

It's often frustrating, but then suddenly, the world around me unfolds again. I'm constantly astounded by beauty that most people have seen all their lives. My world has always been layered like a collage, and my best guess of where things are was often wrong. I bumped into things I should have seen. I had to concentrate to turn the car around a corner. I was the last one picked for a team because I could not catch or throw a ball. I distrusted everything I thought I saw.

There's still a whole lot of work to do, but as of now I can drive with confidence, because I can see the whole intersection at the same time. I can do my job much more comfortably and without getting headaches. I can shake hands without jabbing my thumb into their palm. I can see the spaces between things; the sky is endlessly deep, the shape of the land is revealed in the way everything moves as I move. I can really see a little bird because it doesn't "jump around" as I switch eyes. A few weeks ago, someone tossed a ball at me, and I caught it. I don't remember ever actually catching a ball before.

This is the result I never expected to have from vision therapy: I get to re-imagine who I am. I'm not clumsy; I'm not ditzy, I'm not strange. And I can't wait to see what will happen next.

 

 

Brenna; Age 7

     -Brenna's success story is told by her mom.

 

What was your condition before vision therapy? 

 

Double vision (diplopia). Brenna had a very difficult time learning to read in kindergarten although she worked very hard at it. It was a mystery to me. I never thought about her eyes until her 1st grade teacher mentioned getting her eyes checked and specifically mentioned vision therapy.

 

What steps had you previously taken to get help?

 

Previously we did not do anything because I had no idea her left eye was so bad!

 

What changes have you noticed since completing vision therapy?

 

The biggest change I have noticed is that her reading skills have improved. She continues to struggle a little bit but it's obviously  much easier for her to read. I'm very pleased with her progress and I'm glad we stuck with it despite the time committment and cost. It was worth it.

 

 

Fernando; Age 10

     -Fernando's success story is told by his mom.

 

What was your condition before vision therapy? 

 

Fernando would have extreme eye strain when reading and it would cause burning. However, it did not stop him from reading, which he always enjoyed. He had some extreme coordination problems which caused him to not be able to perform in sports and physical activities well. He often would be embarrassed.

 

What steps had you previously taken to get help?

 

Prior to Fernando's optometrist referring him to Dr. Emmert for vision therapy he had been to see multiple eye doctors who thought he had a need for glasses just for reading. We purchased the glasses as prescribed but his eyes just got progressively worse over time. We found out it was just covering up his real issues.

 

What changes have you noticed since completing vision therapy?

 

Since the vision therapy my son has become a new person. He has advanced two levels in reading and he is improving all across the board in school. Fernando now has the ability and desire to play sports. He is no longer afraid to learn to ride his bike. Fernando is a brand new kid, both physically and mentally. Nothing holds him back.

 

 

 

Raina; Age 8

     -Raina's success story is told by her mom.

 

What was your condition before vision therapy? 

 

Raina loved having stories read to her but was resistant to reading. I noticed

that when she was reading, it looked awkward and uncomfortable. Raina would

also bang into things all the time, things like walls and furniture that are

stationary.

 

What steps had you previously taken to get help?

 

We saw an optometrist several years ago who told me that she was fine and

that it was unfair to Raina regarding my concerns for her reading.

 

What changes have you noticed since completing vision therapy?

 

Raina loves to read now and is testing her reading skills all the time. In the first two

months of vision therapy she jumped 3 levels/grades in reading. She even volunteered

to be on the "Battle of the Books" team from her classroom. And we have fewer bumps 

and bruises due to her improved peripheral vision! She is just so much more outgoing 

and confident!

 

 

 

 

Adrian; Age 10

      -Adrian's success story is told by his mom.

 

What was your condition before vision therapy? 

 

Adrian hated school and it was a fight to do school and homework. He never liked to read.

 

What changes have you noticed since completing vision therapy?

 

He comes home from school and quickly yet happily does his homework. He also now enjoys reading.

 

 

Amy; Age 13

      -Amy's success story is told by her mom.

 

What was your condition before vision therapy? 

 

Amy struggled with reading. She would pick and choose words from different sentences

and try to string them together. Today her fluency is 100 times better.

 

What steps had you previously taken to get help?

 

Amy has been in a special ed class since the age of 3. I had never heard of vision therapy

until my sister-in-law mentioned it. Getting Amy into mainstream was worth a shot.

 

What changes have you noticed since completing vision therapy?

     

Her fluency has improved. She is reading faster.

 

 

Kelsey; Age 13

     -Kelsey's success story is told by her mom.

 

What was your condition before vision therapy? 

 

Kelsey struggled with frequent headaches, seeing double vision when reading for a long period and having to read slowly to keep her place on the page.

 

What steps had you previously taken to get help?

 

Kelsey had some eye therapy as a young child and had worn glasses for a few years.

 

What changes have you noticed since completing vision therapy?

 

Kelsey can now read twice as quickly as she had. She can control her double vision and her headaches have decreased.

 

 

 

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