behavioural optometristIf you’re the mum or dad of a child with a learning disabilities, a Behavioural Optometrist might have the answers you’re looking for!

A Behavioural Optometrist has a special interest in children, especially those that are battling learning disabilities.  These sorts of youngsters most frequently present with symptoms like reduced concentration for all their school work, and nearly all of them have in some way failed to develop the necessary visual skills required to perform well at school.

But the great news is that a behavioural optometrist like myself can help your child right across the board, both in focus and visual skills, using a combination of reading glasses and targeted vision therapy.

 

A Behavioural Optometrist Can Help Focus

 

Most folks think that all an Optometrist can do is help a child to see better, and most kids with learning problems have absolutely no issues with seeing the print.  Yet, as a Behavioural Optometrist I can tell you that the most common symptom I see in children with learning disabilities is poor concentration, not blur, not headaches and not sore  eyes.  These different symptoms can occur, that is for certain, but reduced concentration for reading and near tasks is by far the commonest symptom.

This occurs because the pressure induced on a child’s visual system as they try to read and learn causes the focusing and eye coordination mechanisms in the eye to stress out and ultimately break down.  If concentrating on reading is demanding for a child, they either do the work and suffer eyestrain, headaches and sore eyes, or more commonly simply refuse to do it… that is, they stop concentrating on their school work!

A Behavioural Optometrist can prescribe special support or study lenses, or they can use focus and eye coordination vision therapy.  Both of these techniques work very well, and both of them can increase the length of time a child can concentrate for.  This is a dream come true for a lot of annoyed parents, however there’s so much more that we can do in addition to helping your child to concentrate, and there are a number of ways we can assist your child as they battle to learn at school.

A Behavioural Optometrist Can Assist Studying

A child learning to read should develop certain skills to do the job properly.  Skills like word recognition, visual memory, eye movements and control all serve to help a child when they read.  Children struggling to learn most often show diminished visual skills, mainly because they have never concentrated long enough to develop the skills they need, and this is where I can offer something totally unique to help.

I have designed special exercises, therapies and games which target and supercharge a child’s visual development, and these therapies also help them to pay attention and learn more efficiently.

As a child reads, shouldn’t these skills develop normally?  Well yes, they definitely need to, but if a child has learning difficulties then they typically do not develop correctly, or are slow at developing.

Vision therapy allows us to concentrate on developing these skills and make them happen faster than they would normal develop as a child reads.  While the lenses we prescribe help children to pay attention better without stress, vision therapy permits us to train the skills they need to read, write and spell quickly and effectively.

Combining the two allows us to have the maximum influence on a child’s learning experience, and to do so within the shortest amount of time.  I have the chance to see both of these techniques work successfully in my practice, and I really like hearing children excitedly inform me that they have gone up a level in reading, or listening to their dad and mom describe the improvement.

So when it comes to helping children with learning disabilities, a Behavioural Optometrist could hold the answer to the problem.

That’s why I love being a Sunshine Coast Behavioural Optometrist!

Real reading help for childrenIf you are the parent of a child with learning disabilities, reading help for children may seem like an enigma.  In fact, if doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results is a definition for insanity, then most reading programs for children may look like insanity to you!  If you are struggling for ways to help your child, you may be asking yourself, “Is there a better way?”

Standard Reading Help For Children

 

The most common way of providing reading help for kids is tutoring, which involves a dedicated teacher or tutor drilling the child over and over again in an attempt to break through and improve their learning disability.  There is no doubt that this method can work, but it is a long, painful and difficult way to provide help.  The question arises, is there a better way?

 

While I applaud and support the many dedicated tutors and reading teachers across the world who work hard to produce results with their kids, I also recognize that providing any type of reading help is a long and painful process.  As a behavioral optometrist, my calling is to make of this process easier, more palatable and more effective.

 

How Visual Development Provides Reading Help For Children

 

I am not an educator, and that is why I do not provide the standard reading help for children which tutors and teachers are so good at.  However, I have found a way which will make the methods offered by teachers and tutors more effective. There is no magic involved, but has to do with enhancing the visual development of a child with learning disabilities to help them produce their maximum potential when it comes to learning to read.

 

Vision is the dominant sense in the classroom, and it is also the basic sense is used when reading.  Therefore it makes sense that, if we can improve the visual skills of a child, we can provide real help for children with their reading, writing and spelling.  This makes the standard methods more powerful and easier to implement.

 

The great news is that this means relief for parents and teachers who pound away, day after day, week after week, month after month trying to help a child who is struggling improve their reading performance.  The answer is not to continuously do it over and over again expecting a different result: the answer is to try something new!

 

Reading Help From the Ground Up!

 

If standard reading methods are not breaking through, it is likely that the child has not developed some of the basic skills needed to do the tasks.  While these skills may develop slowly over time, it makes sense that training these basic visual skills will give them the tools they need to improve their reading ability far quicker than constant repetition.  The real question is, “What are these skills and how can we develop them rapidly?”

 

The development of certain basic visual skills are required to provide real reading help for children.  These visual skills include eye coordination, focus, eye movements, sequencing, visual memory, coding and a whole host of other skills.  Simple reading glasses or constant repetition may help some of these, but a child with learning disabilities will still be struggling if these are not developed quickly.

 

That is why I have developed a vision therapy program specifically targeting the development of these basic vision skills.  These can be enhanced by a number of exercises and games which directly target the skills that are required to lay the platform for real and sustainable reading help for children.

 

So if you want to help your child, the answer is not to do the same things over and over expecting a different result.  Take some time out to develop the necessary visual skills, and your child will improve more rapidly.  Targeted vision therapy can provide real reading help for children far more effectively than mind numbing repetition.

Reading Help for Children