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!