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    Joined: Jun 2014
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    Can2K Offline OP
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    Question for the vision therapy folks

    We've started vision therapy - last week was the first session. DS did fine at the session, cooperated with the therapist (although he didn't want to make small talk with her).

    But the home exercises are a challenge. He doesn't want to do them - they are both boring and hard for him to do. There are tears. He says they make his eyes sore.

    I feel bad, but I also feel it's something we need to do. Any tips or suggestions for getting through the homework part of vision therapy?

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    Can2K Offline OP
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    Thanks - we are trying to do them every day. So far we've managed to do _something_ (with lots of incentives!).

    There is one in particular that caused a lot of tears which I had to modify so he could tolerate it. I am trying to gradually increase the time spent on it too.

    Good to hear that you saw progress so quickly!

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    I can't remember the age of your DS so it may be different but my DD is 10 and her strengths are in the comprehension, verbal areas so once we get her on board she "gets it" and cooperates.

    I explained it using the analogy of a backed up bath tub. "Up until now we've been dumping out the water. Now we are working on clearing the clog."

    We do 15-20 minutes every day that she doesn't go the the vision gym for an appointment. Some excercises are fun, or at least they were before the novelty wore off. Some are hard work that make her eyes hurt, or make her feel dizzy or give her a head rush. I report all of these reactions to the VT. Some show the excercises are doing their job but one response - I think it was seeing spots after an excercise - could potentially indicate an issue that will mean a re-eval and dilation by the DO sooner than expected.

    4 weeks in and the excercises she has been doing longest are getting easier. One benefit - the reading teacher at school said the first day DD had her reading glasses she went from 59 wpm to 81. I take that to mean the diagnoses is accurate and the first intervention was extremely effective. They tell us they plan to fade out the glasses as her vision improves.

    I think buy in is crucial for this to work. Last week when the VT was showing me what they had worked on I was absolutely stunned that DD had been able to do it. I mean STUNNED. It must have shown on my face because DD just looked at me and said "We have to do whatever it takes to clear that clog - right Mom?"

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    Can2K Offline OP
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    Thanks- it's a good point about discussing why we are doing this. In the first session with the therapist, she went over a list of 'vision goals' with DS and he didn't identify with any of them...

    Do you want to read better and more quickly? DS - No (he already considers himself a good reader)
    Do you want to catch a ball and play sports better? DS - No I don't play sports
    Do you want better grades in school? DS - No I already get good grades

    and so on.

    The only one he put a check mark beside was 'I want fewer headaches and less eye strain while reading'. He's never mentioned headaches before, so I was surprised.

    I will mention the problems we're having to the therapist. Maybe she can suggest changes.

    Can't wait to get to the more fun exercises!

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    When DS stopped falling down so frequently as his depth perception improved that was a big plus for him. If your DS struggles with depth perception like mine did this will directly increase his quality of life and perhaps be a motivator.

    My DS also HATED the therapy. What helped for me was to tell him what was on the therapy menu for that night. Breaking it down by short, discrete tasks makes it seem more manageable. We are only talking about 10-15 minutes of work but it seems endless to a kid if they hate the work and it's painful.

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    Can2K, the exercises were a bit of a drudge for our dd - we went through phases of cooperation with them and times when it was a real struggle to get her to comply. One thing that helped tremendously was her vision therapists talked frequently with her about how important it was to do the work at home because that meant the total amount of time she'd be doing vision therapy all together would be much less. Our dd's therapy also incorporated a bit of Brain Gym and Bal-Vis-X and dd liked the Brain Gyms, and had a lot of fun with the Bal-Vis-X. I'm not sure she ever thought any of other exercises were any fun (possible exception was the cards that I can't remember the name of), but she really noticed that it all made a huge difference for her, particularly during the first three months of vt, and that was a tremendous source of motivation for her. Reading in particular, was like turning on a lightbulb in a dark cave. It was something she'd struggled with up until that point in time, and really really really did not enjoy. About 3 months into vt, she was able to see well enough that she suddenly made huge leaps in ability to read without her eyes tiring, and from that point forward, one of the great loves of her life has been reading. Had we asked her pre-vt did she want to do a bunch of exercises that would help her read better, she would have most likely said "no way", even though she would have acknowledged she was having difficulty with it. I think that asking a young child questions like "do you want to get better at reading" or "do you want to be able to catch the ball better" etc aren't likely to be motivational - what will work is actually going through a change and seeing for themselves the difference it makes in their lives.

    Like your ds, my dd had frequent headaches due to eye strain, but she'd never mentioned it to us... until they went away smile

    Best wishes,

    polarbear

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    Our DS needed therapy for amblyopia when he was 6.

    His therapist's office had a binder with letters from past therapy successes that included many kids' handwritten praise for the exercises and encouragement for others who are going through (or thinking of trying) therapy. Perhaps your son's therapist has something similar or else could connect you with a support group?

    Has your therapist access to Visiontherapysolutions.net ? Our son did exercises online and he said they were challenging, but like a video game, so they were a welcome addition to the other more boring ones.

    Hang in there! The initial pain goes away and it's exciting to see how much of a difference can be made.



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