Vision Therapy For Special Needs Children In Edmonton
Welcome to Village Eye Centre
Vision problems can be tough on both children and parents. A child’s eyesight changes as he/she grows up, especially during the school years. For parents of special needs children, knowing how to handle and care for a child’s vision difficulties can be even more complex. That’s what we’re here for.
Dr. Brennan Nelson and the caring, experienced staff at Village Eye Centre offer Vision Therapy for special needs children from all over Edmonton.
Vision Therapy For Special Needs Children
Many parents and teachers think that any signs of changes or difficulties in a child’s vision will be noticeable, or that the child will simply tell them if they can’t see clearly. The reality is that this rarely happens. Many vision problems don’t make themselves known until later stages when the condition can be more difficult to manage.
Young children may be unable to verbalize if something isn’t working right, or they may simply be unaware of the problem. A child’s disability may compound the situation, making it even more challenging. That’s where our expertise comes in. Dr. Brennan Nelson‘s experience treating special needs children means that our practice is uniquely qualified to diagnose, treat, and manage your child’s visual difficulties. Our high standard of care and gentle approach can yield excellent results and a positive vision therapy experience.
The Vision Therapy Process
Many parents and teachers think that any signs of changes or difficulties in a child’s vision will be noticeable, or that the child will simply tell them if they can’t see clearly. The reality is that this rarely happens. Many vision problems don’t make themselves known until later stages, when the condition can be more difficult to manage.
Young children may be unable to verbalize if something isn’t working right, or they may simply be unaware of the problem.
A child’s disability may compound the situation, making it even more challenging.
That’s where our expertise comes in. Dr. Brennan Nelson‘s experience treating special needs children means that our practice is uniquely qualified to diagnose, treat, and manage your child’s visual difficulties. Our high standard of care and gentle approach can yield excellent results and a positive vision therapy experience.
What Does Vision Therapy Treat?
A number of vision problems can be treated with vision therapy. The combination of eye exercises, lenses, and prisms can strengthen eye muscles, help the eyes focus on images or objects up close and at distances, and more. The ultimate goal is to restore as much visual function, clarity, and skills as possible.
Eye conditions that are typically treated with vision therapy include:
- Alignment difficulties
- Amblyopia (lazy eye)
- Convergence Insufficiency
- Double vision
- Strabismus (crossed eyes)
It can also improve tasks and everyday activities such as reading, writing, focusing, and keeping attention.
The exact type of therapeutic exercises and tools depends on the needs and health of the child, as well as his/her existing visual deficiencies. That’s why we tailor each type of vision therapy to each patient.
Vision therapy isn’t magic; it’s a process that requires patience and determination. If you or your child have been told that there’s nothing else to be done or that they can live just fine with their visual problems, don’t give up – there IS hope.
How Successful Is Vision Therapy?
Vision therapy is a non-surgical, non-invasive method of treatment. Success rates are typically high, depending on the patient’s specific case and general health. A recent study on 8-13 year old children with convergence insufficiency showed that an 8-week vision therapy program yielded an 87.5% success rate. When in-office treatment is combined with practicing at-home, the chance of successful results is even higher.
How You Can Help Make Vision Therapy A Success
If your child is receiving vision therapy, there are some things you can do to help them achieve the best results possible.
Practice at Home
Using the techniques you’ll learn at Village Eye Centre, continue doing the exercises at home. This will reinforce the skills being developed in the program.
Kids who wear glasses or contacts should wear them on a consistent basis to maintain healthy vision. Vision therapy does not cancel the need for glasses or contacts. Think of them as an assistant to the therapy program.
Let your child’s teachers and therapists know that your son/daughter is getting vision therapy. Communication is key to making vision therapy a success.
Behavioral And Vision Problems
Autistic children display behaviors related to the eyes. Excessive eye rubbing, light sensitivity, and struggling to maintain visual focus are all typical of autism. When these same actions are related to eyesight problems, the confusion can be problematic.
Special needs children require health care by trained medical professionals who know how to work with them and understand their unique needs. This is why a proper diagnosis - combined with vision therapy - can improve a child’s vision problems and hopefully, lead to a better school situation.
Learning Disabilities And Vision Therapy
Education professionals say that 80% of learning has to do with a child’s visual capabilities. For kids with learning disabilities, vision problems can make reading, writing, and other learning tasks more difficult. Blurry vision, headaches from eyestrain, or itchy eyes will cause a child to struggle with reading, writing, and homework assignments. Being able to see the board clearly is important in a school environment, and kids who struggle with this can act out their frustration.
If your child is struggling with these activities, talk to our doctor. We’ll be able to customize their vision therapy program to help them correct visual impairments that may be hindering their educational development.
Special reading glasses and vision therapy can help your child with a vision impairment that impacts their education. In many cases, these difficulties cannot be corrected with standard glasses or contact lenses. However, it’s important to understand that vision therapy does not fix learning disabilities; it merely improves a child’s visual function.
We Are Partners In Your Child’s Vision Therapy
Both the child and his/her parents are partners with Dr. Brennan Nelson in the vision therapy program. The series of exercises and visual techniques must be performed on a regular basis to ensure a successful outcome. The eye doctor will provide you with detailed instructions and a schedule of drops, patches, and exercises all combined to give you the best vision therapy experience with positive results.
If you’ve tried other solutions and exhausted every other method of vision treatments, then it’s time to speak with us about vision therapy. Let us help your child improve their visual functions, learning, and ultimately, their lives.