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#84015 - 08/31/10 05:01 PM VMI testing, vision therapy, need advice
DeHe Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/10
Posts: 732
Hi
If you saw my previous panicked post seeing an explanation without a test, now I have the results and am a bit calmer but would like some advice.

DS 4.5 got an OT and visual eval using Peabody DMS-2, raw scores showed him on age equivalency or about average, 15% delay in grasping and 9% delay in visual motor. But the Beery VMI he got below average on VMI, low on visual perception, and very low on motor coordination with age equivalents of 3.11, 3.0 and 2.8!

So the OT recommended OT which we were expecting but also vision therapy and gave us a name. I was a little put off by the website which aid typically is 40 sessions - really? I plan to get the report to my pedi and disucss it with her but I would,love some advice or tips about what to expect, what he needs, what to watch out for.

Thanks

DeHe

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#84065 - 09/01/10 09:22 AM Re: VMI testing, vision therapy, need advice [Re: DeHe]
knute974 Offline
Member

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 595
Loc: controlled chaos
I can't speak to your OT eval or the type of remediation that DS may need but I can share my recent vt experience.

My DD8 just finished vision therapy to address eye tracking and eye teaming problems. Her vision therapy ran Feb-August (about 30 weeks). DD has noticed that, even though she still needs reading glasses, it is significantly physically easier for her to read. She is not experiencing the eye strain and headaches that she got before VT. For her, I think that it was worth it.

When we started the process, we got a recommendation from our optometrist (who is not affiliated with the VT person and has no financial incentive to recommend this person). We also checked out some therapists recommended by other people we knew through school. Some of the other therapists required a contract for a set period of at least 6 months. Some required at home exercises and projected shorter timeframes (6 months to a year). Some did not include a home program and had much longer projections (2 years?). Some did all of their exercises on computers others were more low tech. We ended up going with the person recommended by out optometrist (a low tech person who did not require a long term contract and who typically got results in 6-12 months).

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#84066 - 09/01/10 09:44 AM Re: VMI testing, vision therapy, need advice [Re: knute974]
DeHe Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/10
Posts: 732
Hi Knute
Thanks for the input! I feel very much at sea with all this. I find we are more comfortable with the OT aspect because we saw it but this seems very surprising given that he reads very well. I am also uncomfortable with my ignorance on the subject and getting advice from a trusted environment is so helpful! And I am SOOO glad to hear that its been helpful for you, its encouraging for us, but also terrific for your DD.

DeHe

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#84070 - 09/01/10 10:31 AM Re: VMI testing, vision therapy, need advice [Re: DeHe]
knute974 Offline
Member

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 595
Loc: controlled chaos
DeHe,
It sounds like you see the need for the OT but not the VT, I would go ahead with the OT and then see what happens. If there is a subtle vision issue, you can deal with it later. We were seeing issues in first grade -- lots of eye watering, headaches even with glasses, fatigue after close work and complaints about text moving on the page. One of the school's vision screenings caught the tracking issue and recommended further evaluation. We asked for options because DD was struggling. If your DS is not struggling with this, it's hard to justify the expense. At a minimum, I would ask for further explanation and/or a second opinion.

VT is not fun and it's a lot of work (especially if your program requires daily home exercises like ours did). You are trying to change ingrained patterns and coordinate muscles that probably have never worked together. If your kid does not understand the potential benefit (sometimes even if they do understand), it will be torture. I don't even know if I would attempt in with a 4 year old.

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#84358 - 09/04/10 09:58 AM Re: VMI testing, vision therapy, need advice [Re: knute974]
mich Offline
Member

Registered: 07/18/10
Posts: 272
Originally Posted By: knute974


VT is not fun and it's a lot of work (especially if your program requires daily home exercises like ours did). You are trying to change ingrained patterns and coordinate muscles that probably have never worked together. If your kid does not understand the potential benefit (sometimes even if they do understand), it will be torture.


I totally agree, My son had VT therapy with mixed results (at age 7). It was torture - both the weekly sessions and the "homework". Although we initially saw improvement, it was not sustained over time.

On the other hand, although OT did not "cure" his visual integration and fine motor issues, it gave him strategies to be functional in the classroom and in life. As an older student, he has abandoned handwriting and now uses a laptop - the most efficient strategy over all.

I'd fight for a solid school based OT program and supplement it with private OT if you can swing the time and $$.

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#84360 - 09/04/10 12:35 PM Re: VMI testing, vision therapy, need advice [Re: mich]
DeHe Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/10
Posts: 732
Hi mich

Thanks, knute's comments really got us thinking and this I think confirms it. We are planning to do private OT as our insurance will cover it. I am thinking we will get an eval from the vision optometrist, to get a sense of where the problem is. I am. Ot sure how the vision is affect him yet. Its clear how the strentght is, so makes sense to me to do the OT. Knowing that VT is so complicated makes me want to move more cautiously on it! Thanks you so much for sharing your input, it really helps. Did you let your DS write on the computers while doing the OT? I thought about giving him more time with it but then worried that he would then resist the writing.

DeHe

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#84420 - 09/06/10 08:39 AM Re: VMI testing, vision therapy, need advice [Re: DeHe]
mich Offline
Member

Registered: 07/18/10
Posts: 272
My son had school based and private OT from age 2 to 8. He had difficulty with most small motor tasks - zippers, buttons, tying shoes, using utensils and, far and near point copying and handwriting. By 3rd grade we decided his skills were adequate to get by in his private school setting - with accommodations such as extra time, models of the alphabet/numbers, graph paper for math, and scribe as needed.

Although we began keyboarding in exerts in 4th grade (and this was not easy, either), he continued to write on his own until 6th. In 6th his school provides laptops for all students and virtually all of his assignments are completed on the computer. Math is still handwritten - and his handwriting is still an issue. It's hard for him to line up his numbers, his legibility is poor etc.

If possible, I think it is important to become proficient with handwriting - the laptop is a great alternative, but it has its limitations. I'd assess how much effort it takes to become proficient and come up with a "goal" that you can live with. Once met, the laptop can remove many barriers and can help the student demonstrate his skills and knowledge without the constraints of poor handwriting.

One thing to consider - my son's Processing Speed Index dropped significantly once he moved from handwriting to the laptop. The neuropsychologist felt that this was primarily due to his grapho=motor skills that had become rusty since he spends much less time writing.

It's all a balance - time spent developing skills is time taken away from others. Accommodations reduce time on task that would otherwise be time to develop weak skills. I try to prioritize and set goals taking into account my son's complex set of needs - there is so much grey area and judgement involved. I don't think there is one right answer.

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#84536 - 09/07/10 11:02 PM Re: VMI testing, vision therapy, need advice [Re: DeHe]
TMI Grandma Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/21/10
Posts: 46
At 8 yrs old, my grandson had vision difficuilty and writing was very difficult.He wrote in rivers and didn't space between the words,grasped the pencil incorectly and copyed boardwork incorectly. My eye doctor susgested I remove sugar, pop,artifical sweetners,and junk food from his diet. I should provide yougart, sea salt,vitiamin,fish oil vitiamin,foods rich in omega fats, ground flax seed, and susgested I look up leaky gut syndrome. He is hypersensitive and took asthma medication and had alot of ear infections where he took antibotics due to severe allergies. I read the book, Breaking The Mebotic Code. It describes how antibotics and medication affect asorbtion of nutrients, which affects brain and vision function acording to the Bio-psychology I read. I read parents can help their child with fine motor skills by letting them eat with chop sticks, he loved them. I purchased tracing paper and some cool monster pictures and he would trace them for hours. I asked him to think of letters as shapes he is using when he draws pictures. All these things helped his vision to improve. His eye doctor said with the high IQ scores he has, he woud have a narrow margin, which means he needs nuitrient dense food for his brain and eyes to function. He has dyslexia,disorder of written expression,scotopic sensitivity,hypersensitivity,struggles to read, write and spell ect... I found stress directly affected his accademic functioning. Stress burns up your B complex vitiams. His priamary care doctor told me to give him Carnation Instant Breakfast as a dietary supplement. I wondered if any of the issues I delt with might apply to your sisutation? I read the Gift of ADHD which listed alot of helpful information. Mel Levine's book, One Mind at a time also was a informative resource for parents that talks about thes types of learning issues. Developmental Eye Training isn't payed for by insurance program, I was told it wasn't recognized as a treatment that works. Perhaps it does work, but I didn't utilize it. He improved with time, and doing the things I mentioned. Wishing you the best!

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