As a parent, the health and well-being of your child are always at the forefront of your mind. When it comes to their vision, it's no different. If your child has been recommended for pediatric vision therapy, you might be filled with questions and concerns.
Pediatric vision therapy, often referred to as vision training, orthoptics, or visual therapy, is a type of physical therapy for the eyes and brain. It's a highly effective non-surgical treatment for many common visual problems such as lazy eye, crossed eyes, double vision, and some reading and learning disabilities. The goal of the therapy is to train the visual system to correct itself.
Vision therapy aims to improve the coordination and efficiency of the eyes and the brain. It's about improving the neurological pathways between the eye and the brain, enabling the child to process visual information more effectively.
Pediatric vision therapy is typically administered by a specially trained optometrist and involves a series of 'eye exercises'. These exercises are not about strengthening the eye muscles, but rather about training the brain to use the eyes to receive information more effectively.
The process of pediatric vision therapy involves a series of sessions, typically held once or twice a week. Each session lasts about 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the child's age and the severity of their visual problems. The therapy sessions are conducted in a fun, interactive environment to keep the child engaged and motivated.
During each session, the child will perform a variety of activities designed to improve their visual skills. These might include using lenses, prisms, 3D activities, computerized programs, and balance boards. The activities are typically game-like and vary from session to session to keep the child interested and engaged.
Apart from the in-office sessions, your child will also be given exercises to do at home. These home exercises reinforce the skills learned during the therapy sessions and help speed up the progress. It's essential to ensure that your child completes these home exercises consistently.
Pediatric vision therapy employs a range of techniques and tools to improve and enhance visual abilities. The specific techniques used will depend on your child's unique needs and the visual skills that need to be improved. Some common techniques include:
Patching: This technique involves covering the stronger eye with an eye patch to force the weaker eye to work harder. This helps improve the weaker eye's visual acuity and strengthens the connection between the eye and the brain.
Computer Programs: Specialized computer programs are used to train the eyes and brain to work together more effectively. These programs typically involve activities that require the child to use both eyes together, improving their eye teaming skills.
Optical Devices: Devices such as lenses and prisms are used to change the way the eyes perceive visual information. This helps the child learn to process visual information more accurately and efficiently.
Balance Boards: Balance boards are used to improve the child's visual-motor integration skills. This involves coordinating the visual information received by the eyes with body movements.
Pediatric vision therapy is a journey, one that requires commitment, patience, and consistent effort from both the child and the parents. As a parent, your role in this journey is crucial. Your support, encouragement, and involvement can significantly impact your child's progress and success in the therapy.
In the end, the goal of pediatric vision therapy is to help your child achieve their full visual potential, improving their academic performance, sports performance, and overall quality of life. It's a journey worth embracing, a journey that can open a world of possibilities for your child.
To learn more on what to expect during pediatric vision therapy, visit VEO Vision Therapy in our Wichita, Kansas office. Call (316) 999-4100 to schedule an appointment today.