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Vision Therapy can Help with Academics as Well as Vision

Ansley Kate is one of our young patients from Gastonia, NC.  Her mother brought her to Complete Eye Care for an eye exam the summer before 2nd grade.  She brought Ansley Kate to Dr. Gesford to see if her vision was creating problems with reading.  Ansley’s reading comprehension had dropped significantly below what was expected, and she began to dislike reading.  Ansley talked about having difficulty with keeping her place and skipping words when reading, and she often moved her head as she read.  Her mother expressed how frustrating reading and school work had become.  She stated that it would take Ansley much longer to complete her classwork than her classmates, and she was often unable to finish her work at school.

Dr. Gesford found that Ansley had perfect 20/20 visual acuity and did not need glasses.  However, she was concerned that a different kind of vision problem might be interfering with Ansley’s learning.  Ansley was scheduled to return for a vision therapy evaluation to determine if she had difficulty using her eyes efficiently.

During the vision therapy evaluation, Dr. Gesford tested Ansley’s eye teaming, eye tracking, eye focusing, visual processing, and visual memory.  She detected that Ansley had very reduced visual processing.  Poor visual processing often leads to difficulty understanding and remembering what you read.  Ansley also exhibited difficulty with eye tracking, making her unable to look from one point to another efficiently.  When reading, she would often skip words, lose her place, or accidentally reread the same line.  Ansley’s struggle with reading efficiency and comprehension had greatly reduced her self-confidence.  Ansley’s parents were happy to learn that vision therapy could fix a lot of the issues causing Ansley to struggle with reading.

Dr. Gesford prescribed a program of vision therapy tailored to improving Ansley’s eye tracking, visual processing, and visual memory.  By the end of the vision therapy program, Ansley’s reading comprehension had greatly improved.  She described her ability to read without losing her place or skipping words.  Her parents were excited when Ansley actually started showing a desire to read, even asking for books for Christmas presents! Her self-esteem also had significantly increased.  At her graduation from vision therapy, Ansley smiled from ear to ear and spoke with confidence at how vision therapy had helped her become a better reader.

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