Sunday, October 6, 2013

Week 1 Vision Therapy

Liam learning how to read the chart for his first therapy session. He was not thrilled about the pink eye patch. We changed that though and he was a lot happier. 

Liam and I were anxious to find out what Vision Therapy was going to look like for him. Every person’s therapy is unique to them. Liam’s therapy schedule looks completely different from our friend Alli because of his age, and eye issues. They have similar things that they needed to work on, but they tested at different levels. Each week we will meet with Dr. G and either get new therapy exercises or build on the ones he already is doing. My advice to parents is to buy a notebook and take good notes. Watch how the doctor administers the therapy. Listen to their cues and what they help the child with and what they let them struggle with. I also recommend taking video or pictures if it’s not distracting. A lot of the time I would refer to them to administer the therapy better.  Ask questions if you have them. It’s a lot to take in and you want to do the therapy correctly when you get home. You are the key to your child’s success.  After our appointment with Dr. G we went to the store and Liam got to pick our any candy he wanted (within reason of course). I told him that when he completed his therapy everyday he would get a piece as a reward. He was super excited about this especially, because candy does not exist in our house. Because of his Ulcerative Colitis we have to be careful with how much sugar he gets. He chose starburst which was perfect. It made him feel like he was getting something kind of big and it last a little bit because of all the chewing he has to do.

Okay so on to our first week. Dr. G started us off slowly. All together the exercises totaled 30 minutes a day.  The first exercise we had to do was one where Liam had to track letters on the wall one eye at a time. I would time him for this and tally up his errors. The beginning part of the week it was a big struggle for him. The letters were spaced 1 inch apart and displayed in two rows and he stood 6 feet back.  The first day his results were: Right eye took 2 minutes 23 seconds with 5 errors and his left eye was 2 minutes and 35 seconds with 6 errors. By the end of the week his results were: Right eye 2 minutes 2 seconds with 3 errors. His Left eye was 1 minute and 19 seconds with 2 errors.  I was really pleased with the results and I was excited to hear if we get to move the letters 2 inches apart.

The next exercise we did that week was a 3D exercise. He had to wear red/green glasses and I look at two circles and track them as I moved them further and closer apart. This one was hard for Liam. 3D seems to be a big struggle for him. I am not really sure there were big results from this exercise. I think it was a little hard for him.

The last exercise we did that week was blocks. You may be thinking blocks? Yes, something as simple as blocks was part of our therapy. Liam has never really liked playing with blocks. This was by far his favorite therapy so far. I would have him sort the blocks and time him. The first day he was able to do it in 1 minute 42 seconds with 0 errors, and by the end of the week he did it in 59 seconds with 1 error.  The other exercise we did with the blocks was having him duplicate patterns. This part was fun because I could have his sister be a part of it. She wanted to feel included so she would build a pattern and he would try to build the same one. At the beginning of the week his results looked like this:
  1.     4 blocks missed one that was vertical
  2.     4 blocks missed one that was horizontal
  3.     5 blocks he did it perfect.

At the end of the week it looked like this:
  1.      5 blocks zero errors
  2.      6 blocks 1 error. Placement error
  3.      6 blocks with 1 error. He connected one block that should not have been

So as you can see he improved from the beginning of the week to the end. Dr. G was very happy with his results when I emailed them to him.  The 3-D one she said was obviously difficult for him and so she said we would be changing that one up and trying something else for week 2. 

Over all I really feel Liam did great. Its a lot to ask him to go to school for four hours then come home and do more. But he was excited and did a good job listening. I found that if I let him choose which order to to the exercises it went a lot smoother. It gave him a sense of control. I kept it really positive and stayed upbeat with him. When he needed a break I would give it to him. 

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